Cambodian parliament launches era of one-party rule

/ 02:24 PM September 05, 2018

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (Front-C) and party leaders Heng Samrin (Front-R) Sar Kheng (Front-L) for pictures during the opening ceremony of the parliament at the National Assembly building in Phnom Penh on September 5, 2018. AFP

PHNOM PENH,  Cambodia — Cambodia’s new parliament met for the first time Wednesday, launching an era of one-party rule after an uncontested election handed the ruling party of strongman Hun Sen all 125 seats.

July’s poll has been derided internationally after the only credible opposition party was disbanded before the vote.
On Wednesday lawmakers from Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) took their seats as Heng Samrin, the parliament’s oldest member, was appointed as temporary prime minister.


Parliament will reconvene on Thursday for the formality of voting Hun Sen back in as prime minister, extending his 33-year rule over the country by another five years.

King Norodom Sihamoni, Cambodia’s head of state but whose role is mainly symbolic, opened the session, urging the country to “stand united and show strong national solidarity”.


The election run-up divided Cambodians between those who buy into Hun Sen’s mantra of stability and economic growth and younger people wearied by rampant graft, the shrinking space for free expression and the nepotism of the CPP’s networks.

But on election day voter turnout was 83 percent.

Over 600,000 ballots— around 10 percent of the total cast— were spoiled, indicating discontent with the lack of a credible opposition.

With his grip on power assured, Hun Sen has begun to relax his tolerance of dissent, requesting royal pardons for activists and members of the now dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) who were jailed in the run-up to the vote.

Last week, 14 CNRP supporters jailed for insurrection were released after they sent apology letters to Hun Sen.
But so far the pardons have yet to include the CNRP’s co-founder Kem Sokha, who remains in a remote prison near the Vietnamese border. /ee

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Cambodia, International news, opening of parliament, Politics
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Thailand wins Miss Supranational crown; PH bet in Top 25

December 07, 2019 08:10 AM


‘The King’: Interesting but not memorable

December 07, 2019 05:45 AM


Theater Calendar

December 07, 2019 05:40 AM

© Copyright 1997-2019 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.