Cambodian leader Hun Sen’s son and chosen successor, Hun Manet, held a final rally ahead of the one-sided elections. Critics condemn the lack of credible opposition, ensuring a majority win for the ruling party. Supporters back Hun Manet’s leadership, but analysts doubt significant changes under his rule.
The Grassroots Democratic Party in Cambodia faces an uphill battle in the one-sided election against the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, widely seen as a sham. Other opposition parties have been sidelined or co-opted by the ruling party. Critics argue that Cambodia is becoming a one-party state under Prime Minister Hun Sen’s long-standing rule.
Cambodia’s main opposition party lost its bid to participate in the upcoming elections, allowing long-serving leader Hun Sen to run uncontested. The ruling was upheld by the Constitutional Council, disappointing the Candlelight Party and shrinking the space for democracy in the country. Critics accuse Hun Sen of suppressing opposition and manipulating the legal system. The party had gained popularity in local elections and aimed to challenge the ruling party in every constituency. Hun Sen’s grip on power continues, with his son being groomed as his successor.
Cambodia’s National Election Committee has refused to register the main opposition party, the Candlelight Party (CP), for the upcoming national elections. The move effectively paves the way for Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to compete uncontested. Critics argue that Hun Sen uses the legal system to suppress opposition, and the CP plans to appeal the decision. With key opposition figures facing disqualification and criminal cases, and opposition activists defecting to the ruling party, Cambodia’s path to plural-party democracy is increasingly uncertain.
Amnesty International has urged Cambodia to stop the “mass forced evictions” of 10,000 families from the Angkor Wat temple complex, as the Cambodian government relocates them to a new community to protect the ruins from squatters whose informal settlements are damaging the local environment. The government says people are moving voluntarily, but Amnesty claims villagers faced “implicit threats if they did not move” and were not properly consulted or given enough notice. The ruined Angkor Wat temples are Cambodia’s top tourist attraction.