Prospects after Cambodia's fabricated poll

Prospects after Cambodia's fabricated poll

Ahead of Cambodia's general election on Sunday, a worker in Phnom Penh regards a poster of the strongman and Prime Minister Hun Sen. (Reuters photo)
Ahead of Cambodia's general election on Sunday, a worker in Phnom Penh regards a poster of the strongman and Prime Minister Hun Sen. (Reuters photo)

While Thailand has a seemingly indefinite military government with no clear poll date, Cambodia is holding an election on July 29 with a foregone conclusion. After methodically taken apart oppositional forces, the incumbent government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, under the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), is set to win a landslide. At issue now will be what happens after the election. At least three dynamics are in play. How they intersect and enmesh will determine Cambodia's political future.

First, Hun Sen has dismantled the opposing Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) because the CPP was on course to lose this election. In 2016, the government commissioned a leading Israeli public opinion research firm to gauge its political standing. The survey method featured more than 5,000 personal interviews, conducted several months apart between May and September. The results showed that the CPP and Hun Sen were losing popularity with the Cambodian electorate.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak teaches International Relations and directs the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University.

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Thitinan Pongsudhirak

A PROFESSOR AT CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY

A professor and director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Political Science, he earned a PhD from the London School of Economics with a top dissertation prize in 2002. Recognised for excellence in opinion writing from Society of Publishers in Asia, his views and articles have been published widely by local and international media.


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