Despite the hand-wringing over the current impasse in Cambodian politics, only two major events are likely to definitively change the dynamics at play fundamentally. One is that the United States and the European Union could actually make a decision on whether they’ll impose sanctions on senior government and military officials and remove Cambodia from their preferential trade schemes. Another is that leaders from the now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) can return from exile.
The former is unlikely to happen until next year, unless conditions deteriorate further. As for the latter, CNRP members have made numerous promises for their fated return, and have so far failed to deliver on each. Indeed, public sentiment is starting to turn against the party, which is losing much goodwill thanks to its big talk and small deeds.
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