Will Sam Rainsy’s Promised Cambodia Return Bring People Power Or Something Else?

Will Sam Rainsy’s Promised Cambodia Return Bring People Power Or Something Else?

In about nine weeks, Cambodia opposition figure Sam Rainsy will presumably return to his country, along with other exiled CNRP politicians, after spending the last four years in exile. Or that is what he has promised, anyway. Previous such pledges have failed to materialize. At this stage, it remains to be seen whether he will return on November 9, Cambodia’s independence day, as he has failed to come back twice…

What’s Next for Kem Sokha and Cambodia’s Opposition?

What’s Next for Kem Sokha and Cambodia’s Opposition?

On September 2, 2017, the Cambodia opposition leader Kem Sokha was awoken around midnight to the sound of the police battering on his doors. Hauled in on charges of treason, he watched from prison as two months later his Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was forcibly dissolved by the Supreme Court on allegations of plotting a coup. Monday marked the second anniversary of Kem Sokha’s detention. Last September, he was released from…

What’s Next After the New Cambodia-Laos Border Tensions? 

What’s Next After the New Cambodia-Laos Border Tensions? 

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Cambodia and Laos had reached agreement for both sides to withdraw troops from an undemarcated border area that had seen tensions over the past few weeks. The development highlighted the continuing discussion over what has prompted the new round of border tensions and how both sides will look to manage this in the coming weeks and months. As I have observed before in these…

Was Cambodia Ever Really a Democracy?

Was Cambodia Ever Really a Democracy?

When Cambodia’s main opposition party was forcibly dissolved in 2017, the words “death of democracy” splashed across the front page of the Phnom Penh Post. At the time it seemed appropriate. The pre-election disbandment of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) gave the ruling party all 125 seats in the National Assembly and transformed Cambodia into a de facto one-party state. But on the anniversary of the July 1997 violent…