Cambodia’s democratic dream in shreds 30 years after Paris accord

The historic agreement was forged in the spirit of post-Cold War optimism, but was tested almost immediately.

As a teenager, Prum Chantha was optimistic about Cambodia’s democratic future.

It was 1991 and the Paris Peace Agreement, bringing years of conflict following the brutal rule of the Maoist-inspired Khmer Rouge to an end, had just been signed. Cambodians were looking forward to choosing their own leaders and picking up the pieces of their broken country.

“After the 1993 election, I [thought] our country is prosperous; our country is no longer a communist country,” she said.

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