• Charts the evolution of internationally assisted elections manipulated and controlled by Hun Sen and the CPP.
• Exposes the complicity of various international actors supporting ‘authoritarian elections’ while promoting a more democratic and transparent electoral process.
This detailed study charts the evolution of internationally assisted elections in Cambodia beginning in 1993 with the vote supervised by the United Nations Transitional Authority (UNTAC). Although the UNTAC operation was unprecedented in its size and political scope, the less-than-democratic outcome of the 1993 elections set in motion two decades of internationally assisted elections manipulated and controlled by the losers in 1993 led by the current Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). Simultaneously, disparate international actors have been complicit in supporting ‘authoritarian elections’ while at the same time attempting to promote a more democratic transparent accountable process. This apparent paradox has produced a relatively stable political-economic system that serves the interests of a powerful and wealthy ruling elite coalesced around the personality of Hun Sen supported by international donors but at the expense of overall positive socio-economic and political change. At the same time, international involvement has allowed opposition forces to co-exist alongside a repressive state and compete in elections that still hold out the possibility for change. This was evidenced by the voter
backlash against CPP governance during the recent 2013 elections.