by Walter Lohman, Olivia Enos
The Heritage Foundation
April 01, 2014
Backgrounder
In 2013, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party again won Cambodia’s national election, this time by the slimmest margin, extending Prime Minister Hun Sen’s 28-year reign by another five years. But the opposition is claiming election fraud, and its members refuse to take their seats in the National Assembly. The U.S. and Cambodia have expanded ties for many years—despite reservations from human rights groups and the State Department about the development of Cambodia’s democracy. The 2013 elections offer an opportunity for the U.S. to take stock of U.S.- Cambodian relations and press for long-overdue political reforms. Cambodia should launch an objective investigation of the 2013 elections and comprehensive election reforms, including, if necessary, a legitimate re-vote. It is critical to U.S. interests that Cambodia mature into a self-sustaining, democratic nation capable of combatting modern-day challenges to governance and peace and security in the Pacific.



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