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Cambodia’s Descent Into One-Party Rule: What Can Be Done After Sham 2018 Elections?

  • The Heritage Foundation 214 Massachusetts Avenue Northeast Washington, DC, 20002 United States (map)

Over the past year, Cambodia began a rapid descent into one-party rule, a status solidified by elections in July of 2018. In 2017, opposition leader Kem Sokha was jailed; NGOs, the press, and civil society were effectively silenced; and Cambodia’s Supreme Court outlawed the existence of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party. The outcome of the 2018 elections was all-but-determined before the Cambodian people rung in the New Year.

Over the past year, Cambodia began a rapid descent into one-party rule, a status solidified by elections in July of 2018. In 2017, opposition leader Kem Sokha was jailed; NGOs, the press, and civil society were effectively silenced; and Cambodia’s Supreme Court outlawed the existence of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party. The outcome of the 2018 elections was all-but-determined before the Cambodian people rung in the New Year.

Incumbent ruler Hun Sen extended his nearly 35-year reign another five years, and the Cambodian people feel more disenfranchised than ever. While the U.S. government has swiftly responded to Cambodia’s anti-democratic backslide, there is still more to be done. Please join us for a conversation on how to get Cambodia back on the path toward political reforms that promote the rights and freedoms of all Cambodians.