Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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Alex Willemyns

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Associate editor

For Rich CPP Leaders, Reform Not So Vital

With health care, infrastructure, and other development initiatives in poor shape, Mr. Hun Sen’s government seems to lack the will or means to turn its focus from political maneuvering to reform.

Hun Sen Hopes Days of Post-Election Protests Are Finished

The three-month voter registration period opened on Thursday, with Prime Minister Hun Sen telling reporters after enrolling at his local commune office that he hopes the new voter registry will put an end to post-election protests.

Hun Sen, Looking to Army, Sees Old Comrades

When Prime Minister Hun Sen looks to top military leaders like commander-in-chief Pol Saroeun or his deputies, Kun Kim and Meas Sophea, he sees men with whom he has shared four decades of bloodshed, sweat and tears—and an unlikely rise to power.

With Rivals Isolated, Hun Sen Goes on Tour

The latest version of Prime Minister Hun Sen—touring the country’s marketplaces, posting regularly on Facebook, posing for selfies—looks quite a bit like opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

Patronage Still Protects CPP, Scholars Say

Cambodia will not have democratic change so long as the CPP’s patronage networks, which link spending in poor rural villages to electoral support for the ruling party, remain intact, concludes a new research paper by Australian and American academics.

Parliament Says Shadow Cabinet Plans Are Illegal

The CNRP’s plan to form a shadow cabinet is illegal and will not be allowed by authorities, National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long said on Wednesday, prompting the opposition lawmaker in charge of the idea to say the party would just not call it that.

Opposition Unveils Plans For Shadow Cabinet

The CNRP said on Tuesday it plans to create a shadow cabinet of lawmakers who will serve as alternative government ministers, with opposition leader Sam Rainsy also releasing a draft 67-page manifesto that would guide the party’s policies if it won power in 2018.

As Voter Registration Nears, Fears Of Exclusion

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday appealed to Cambodia’s 9.6 million eligible voters to register to cast their ballots when enrollment opens next month, as the opposition CNRP expressed concerns that a million migrant workers could be disenfranchised.

Amid Chaos, Time for CNRP to Get Serious

The CNRP has spent little time pushing proposals to fix major issues in education, healthcare, and corruption, and has made almost no use of what it said two years ago would be its wide powers as an opposition party in the National Assembly since picking up dozens of National Assembly seats in 2013 elections.

Video Shows Flight of Critic’s Alleged Killer

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith said on Sunday that footage of the short-lived escape of political analyst Kem Ley’s alleged killer revealed nothing irregular, refuting suggestions made on social media that it shows the suspect and pursuing police officers acting overly familiar.

Rainsy Told to Pay $37,500 for Defaming Heng Samrin

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy was ordered on Thursday to pay National Assembly President Heng Samrin about $37,500 after being found guilty of defaming him in a Facebook post that claimed, incorrectly, that Mr. Samrin’s regime in the 1980s had sentenced King Norodom Sihanouk to death.

World Must Go Hard on Hun Sen, Forum Told

Cambodia’s opposition has to stop caving to Prime Minister Hun Sen, and the international community must quit letting the premier play them for fools, or the country will never move forward, longtime observers said at a forum in Washington on Tuesday.

Government Claims Manila Chose To Omit South China Sea Ruling

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry on Wednesday denied that Cambodia had blocked a reference to a U.N.-backed tribunal’s ruling against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea in Monday’s joint Asean statement—and said the omission was, in fact, the Philippines’ decision.

China Praises Cambodia’s ‘Impartiality’ In Sea Dispute

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday singled out Cambodia for “taking charge of impartiality” within Asean after it thwarted the bloc’s effort to formally reference an international court’s ruling on the South China Sea that has angered Beijing.

Cambodia Blocks Asean Statement on South China Sea

Cambodia has blocked any reference to a U.N.-backed court’s ruling against Beijing’s claims to the South China Sea in an Asean statement and is pushing to remove a previously routine phrase expressing concern about the sea’s “militarization,” according to reports.

Two Years on, Warnings on Deal Prove True

Two decades watching Prime Minister Hun Sen run circles around clueless rivals left many observers predicting the worst when opposition leader Sam Rainsy finally accepted election defeat in exchange for reform pledges two years ago today.

Military Investigating ‘Coup’ Plot, Moving Tanks

The Defense Ministry is investigating a video in which a man announced plans for a coup d’etat against Prime Minister Hun Sen, and had separately ordered a convoy of tanks to be moved from the Thai border to near Phnom Penh for “repairs.”

US State Department Official Visits Sokha

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski visited deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha on Monday inside the CNRP’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, where he has been hiding for nearly two months amid threats by the prime minister to imprison him for life.

Moniker a Morbid Fit for Kem Ley’s Fables

Kem Ley’s alleged murderer provided his name as “Chuop Samlap”—or “Meet Kill”—a nickname that matches the very literal naming at work in Mr. Ley's political fables.

Kem Ley’s Final Fables

In the two weeks before political analyst Kem Ley was shot dead in a gas station convenience store last weekend, he posted 19 political “jokes” to his Facebook page, having announced plans to write 99 and then publish them in a book at the end of this year.