The prime minister has ruled the
country for too long
The Financial Times
July 27, 2014 4:56 pm
A year-long political crisis ended last week in Cambodia when the opposition agreed to take up its seats in parliament after disputed elections last July. In return for calling off its parliamentary boycott, eight opposition figures were released from detention on trumped-up insurrection charges.Of potentially longer lasting significance, the government agreed to overhaul the election committee in order to bring some degree of transparency to the deeply compromised electoral process. Opposition representatives will also get the chairmanship of five out of 10 parliamentary commissions, including those covering labour, human rights and anti-corruption – all areas of urgent concern.
That has included a spell as co-prime minister after he refused to accept the result of UN-organised elections in 1993. By 1997 he was back in full control after a coup.
Keen to maintain at least the semblance of democracy – useful for keeping the aid dollars flowing – he has gone through the rigmarole of regular elections since. At last year’s poll, his air of invincibility wore thin. His Cambodian People’s party only narrowly won an election that the opposition claimed was rigged.