Hun Sen’s Party Retains Power in Camobia — though a little bit less

 

“Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party won 68 of 123 seats in the legislature, compared with 55 seats for the main opposition party, Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said, citing unofficial results. This is a significant decline from the 90 seats held by the ruling party since 2008, ending its two-thirds majority.

“The Cambodia National Rescue Party, a merger of several opposition parties led by former Finance Minister Sam Rainsy, scored points with voters with calls to increase youth employment, end land disputes and stem corruption.

“Rainsy returned to Cambodia a few days ago from four years of exile after he was granted a royal pardon on charges of racial incitement and destruction of property, charges the opposition said were politically motivated. Although his return may have energized the opposition, it was too late for him to run in the elections or even vote.

“Observers said this appeared to be Cambodia’s least-violent balloting since a 1991 cease-fire in the conflict-racked country ended decades of civil war and genocide. Voters have gone to the polls five times since 1993, when the United Nations organized landmark elections.

National Rescue Party picks up votes

Moderately good news for Cambodians. Now to see how it actually plays out, in the legislature and in the streets.  My sense is that young people are interested and able to enter more fully into national life — if the old guard don’t make a mess out of welcoming them.

 

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