See More on Facebook

Politics

Cambodia election round-up

Cambodia’s ruling party has won the election in a landslide, here is a round-up of headlines and analysis from around the region.


Written by

Updated: July 30, 2018

Cambodia’s ruling party, headed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, has won Sunday’s election in a landslide with many observers calling the process a ‘sham’ and pointing to the repression of dissent and opposition in the run-up to voting.

Voters began streaming into Cambodia’s polling stations on Sunday morning (July 29) after weeks of campaigning marked by calls from political exiles to boycott the one-sided election, according to Straits Time’s journalists.

“Over the past year, several independent outlets, citing pressure from the government, have ceased operations. On Saturday, officials confirmed to Voice of America (VOA) journalists that they had ordered Internet service providers to block access at least 15 websites, including the Voice of America’s Khmer service, the Radio Free Asia’s Khmer service, and the Voice of Democracy.”

Foreign Criticism 

Rights groups have criticized the elections both before and after polls citing the lack of opposition to Hun Sen.

According to Human Rights Watch:

“Serious problems with the electoral process include: arbitrary dissolution of the main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), and surveillance, intimidation, detention, and politically motivated prosecution of key opposition members. Other major concerns include a crackdown on independent media, a lack of fair and equal access to the media, and repressive laws restricting speech, association, and assembly. The national election commission is not independent. Across the country, senior military and police officials have been continuously campaigning for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).

According to the ICJ:

During the course of ensuring it will win the national election scheduled for this Sunday (29 July), Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has, since the last election, systematically altered the country’s constitutional and legal framework – and these changes will remain in place after the election has passed.

This misuse of the law is a significant development in the history of modern Cambodia and represents a determined move away from the vision enshrined in the historic 1991 Paris Peace Agreements that ended years of conflict and sought to establish a peaceful and democratic Cambodia founded on respect for human rights and the rule of law.

And it risks cementing the human rights and rule of law crisis that now exists within Cambodia for years to come.

Cambodian Response: 

Despite these criticisms, Cambodia remained bullish about the election at hit back at Human Rights Watch and several other organizations.

The National Election Committee (NEC) and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) reacted strongly to the statements from Human Rights Watch (HRW) which had called the July 29 general election “not genuine”.

The NEC called the statement politically motivated while a CPP leader said the watchdog had no right to determine the fate of the Kingdom’s people, and that its comment was an attack on his party.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the international human rights organisation has no right to evaluate the election in Cambodia. He said the body has “ill-intentions” toward Cambodia and the CPP in particular.

“There will be no foreign evaluation to determine the fate of the Cambodian people. Only Cambodians can determine the fate of the Kingdom.

“The HRW has ill intentions toward the CPP because his [Brad Adams’] brain determines that the CPP is a communist party, and close with the Communist Party of China. That is why it is not happy,” Eysan said.

US relations under scrutiny 

Prior to the elections, the United States’ House of Representatives passed the Cambodia Democracy Act which aimed sanctions at Hun Sen’s inner circle in a bid to “promote free and fair elections, political freedoms and human rights in Cambodia and impose sanctions on Hun Sen’s inner circle.”

Cambodia has hit back at the legislation saying that such a bill would only harm bilateral relations. Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan told reporters that any act against the Kingdom’s leaders equally affects the people and will effectively destroy Cambodia-US relations.

“It will also cause considerable harm to US-Asean bilateral relations due to the economic bloc’s policy of ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of foreign nations’,” he added.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

OPINION: What Asia’s election season tells us

Elections have wrapped up from Pakistan to the Philippines. In the first half of this year, four Asian giants went to the polls. Up to one billion voters were involved, all within a few weeks of one another. Team Ceritalah was on the ground in Thailand, Philippines, India and Indonesia. In Eluru in April, some two hours northeast of Amravati, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, we discovered a city pulsating with people. It was also mind-blowingly hot: some 42 degrees with music blaring out of loudspeakers as crowds waited for a candidate’s arrival. By contrast, when Team Ceritalah were in the Thai city of Phitsanulok in February, the mood was subdued and calm. Most people knew who they’d be voting for. Besides, everyone understood that the polls were a farce Back in April and just a handful of days before voting, Team Ceritalah also joined the hordes at Jakarta’s main stadium – Gelora


By The Star
June 19, 2019

Politics

Hong Kong protests rattle Taiwan’s political scene

Hong Kong’s protest has caused significant changes politically in Taiwan. TAIPEI (The China Post) — Han Kuo-yu’s explicit contradiction of Beijing’s “one country, two systems” took everyone by surprise over the latest weekend. This was his most forceful rejection of the political framework aimed at ousting the Beijing-friendly image depicted by his rivals. True to his alleged pro-unification stance – he recently met with the directors of Beijing’s liaison offices in Hong Kong and Macau as well as the Communist Party chief in China, he first said: “I don’t know about the Hong Kong protests. I don’t know, I’m not aware.” The controversial comment not only had a devasting effect on his ratings but also caused some cracks in his well-polished public discourse. He was one step behind President Tsai Ing-wen who deftly declared her support of the anti-extradition protestors. “We


By Asia News Network
June 19, 2019

Politics

Hong Kong leader apologises for protest response

I offer my most sincere apology to all the people of Hong Kong: Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam offered her personal apology to every Hong Konger for her inadequacies in handling the extradition Bill saga, saying the incident has made her realise she needs to do better, to hear people out and to work harder to balance the view of the people. Mrs Lam told a press conference, which started at 4pm on Tuesday (June 18) and lasted for nearly an hour, that she will not restart the legislative process of the extradition Bill as long as the conflict in society is not resolved. “I have heard you loud and clear and have reflected deeply on what has transpired,” Mrs Lam said.


By The Straits Times
June 19, 2019

Politics

Xi to pay state visit to DPRK at end of week

Kim Jong-un invited the Chinese leader ahead of G20 summit. President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on Thursday and Friday, the first by a top leader of China in 14 years. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was invited by Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, for the visit, the first since Xi became the CPC’s top leader at the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. The visit comes as the two countries embrace the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year. It will be crucially significant to bilateral ties as it will build on the past and usher in the future, said Song Tao, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, at a news briefing on Monday. During the visit, Xi and Kim will reflect


By China Daily
June 18, 2019

Politics

HK suspends amendments to extradition laws

Chinese state media calls the protests organised riots. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Saturday announced suspension of the proposed amendments to the city’s extradition laws. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the decision three days after a protest-turned-riot against the amendment bill brought to a standstill the city’s main administrative and business areas. The decision, Lam said, was made after the SAR government had carefully evaluated the situation for the greatest interests of Hong Kong. She said the suspension will allow the government to restart communication with all sectors of society, do more to explain the bill and listen to different views on the matter. Lam did not give details on the resumption of the legislation work. The legislation will only be resumed after the public consultation is completed, she added. The gov


By China Daily
June 17, 2019

Politics

Millions take to streets of Hong Kong against extradition bill.

Hong Kong government offices remain closed on Monday amid call for strikes. The Hong Kong government on Monday declared that central government offices would be closed for the day as the city braced itself for workers’ strikes after a record turnout at Sunday’s rally protesting a divisive extradition Bill. An official notice released on Monday morning said: “As the access roads in the vicinity of the the Central Government Offices (CGO) are blocked, CGO will still be temporarily closed today (June 17). “Staff working in the CGO should not go to the workplace and should work in accordance with the contingency plans of their respective bureaus or departments. All visits to the CGO will be postponed or cancelled.”


By The Straits Times
June 17, 2019