Home / International / Cambodia’s Hun Sen wins after opposition silenced

Cambodia’s Hun Sen wins after opposition silenced

Cambodia's Hun Sen wins after opposition silenced

Although 20 parties contested the election, the only one with the popularity and organization to mount a real challenge, the Cambodian National Rescue Party, was dissolved last year by the Supreme Court in a ruling generally seen as political.


According to detailed totals released by the state National Election Committee, more than 6.8 million registered voters, or 82.2 percent, cast ballots.


The figure, if correct, would suggest that the promotion by opposition forces of a poll boycott was ineffective. In the last general election in 2013, voter turnout was 6.6 million, or 68.5 percent of 9.7 million registered voters.

Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party was alarmed by the results of the 2013 election, when the race was close enough for the opposition to claim that it would have won had the voter registration process not been manipulated.


Hun Sen, whose 33 years in power make him among the world’s longest-serving national leaders, promised peace and prosperity at a campaign rally Friday, but attacked the opposition’s boycott call and called those who heed it “destroyers of democracy.”


Hun Sen, 65, has said he intends to stay in power for at least two more five-year terms.


He was a member of the radical communist Khmer Rouge during its successful five-year war to topple a pro-American government, then defected to Vietnam during Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot’s 1975-79 genocidal regime that left nearly 2 million Cambodians dead. He became prime minister in 1985 in a Vietnamese-backed single-party communist government and led Cambodia through a civil war against the Khmer Rouge, which eased off with the 1991 Paris Peace Accords that also installed a democratic political framework.