CAMBODIA: On Friday, thousands campaigned for Cambodia’s governing party in a lopsided election to extend Prime Minister Hun Sen’s four-decade hold. The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) ran without competition due to a disqualified challenger’s registration paperwork issue.
Hun Manet, a senior general and son of Hun Sen, will make his political debut during the election. He predicted the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) would win by a wide margin, claiming it was the only party capable of ruling and had the support of the entire populace. He urged voters to vote for the CPP to ensure a bright and prosperous future for the country.
Human rights organizations have accused Hun Sen of fraud, dictating the media, intimidating opponents, and methodically destroying his opposition by fabricating criminal accusations. The election was called a fraud by people on balconies, while the mob sang the names of the father and son.
Hun Sen’s administration claims 17 additional parties in the 2018 election represented a level playing field, but none won a seat in the legislature. Human Rights Watch’s deputy director for Asia, Phil Robertson, criticized the election for having “zero credibility.”
Hun Sen aims to create a democratic system by scaring the populace and imposing silence on opposing political organizations. Hun Manet, a Cambodian leader, has evaded media attention. He studied in New York and valued American culture such as freedom and tolerance.
In a speech, he described the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP)’s efforts to preserve peace and stability after decades of war and claimed that an unnamed minority of extremists was attempting to “destroy this election.” He emphasized that only the Cambodian People’s Party could guide the nation towards happiness for everyone.