|Promoting True Democratic Transition in Cambodia
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. Opposition members continue to lead protests and are refusing to take their seats in the National Assembly. The U.S. and Cambodia have been expanding ties for many years—despite reservations from international human rights groups and the State Department itself about the development of Cambodia’s democracy. The 2013 elections are an opportunity for the U.S. to take stock of U.S.–Cambodian relations and press for long-overdue political reforms. It is critical to U.S. interests that Cambodia mature into a self-sustaining, democratic nation that is prepared to combat modern-day challenges to governance and peace and security in the Pacific.