Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cambodian election of 2008

As noted in previous posts, the upcoming Cambodian election on July 27 is one factor that has influenced -- negatively -- the rapidly escalating border dispute with Thailand. It's to be the first Cambodian election in which monks can vote. Cambodia is a young country; the youth vote is expected to be crucial. IHT reports on the likely outcome of the election:

Hun Sen's long-running control over the levers of state and his unmatchable political instincts all but ensure that he will lead a return of his party to office, with even his few serious rivals unlikely to mount a strong challenge.

Hun Sen, once a member of the ultra-leftist Khmer Rouge, has been at the helm of Cambodia since 1985, when he was made prime minister of a Communist government installed by neighboring Vietnam. He became an elected prime minister in a democratic vote only after his party won a 1998 election. His party has tightened its grip on power since then, with 73 seats in the National Assembly.

This website outlines the electoral system in Cambodia, and lists the contending parties.

Photo: By Jotman. Shows a Cambodian monk.

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