Cambodia 2010

Total score


Quick facts

  • 14.45 million
Population growth:
  • 1.7 %
Unemployement rate:
  • 3.5 %
  • 29.46 billion $
GDP growth rate:
  • 4.1 %
GDP per capita:
  • 2000 $

Score and comments

Political Freedom
Free and Fair Elections

There are concerns regarding the relevance of the electoral process in Cambodia. The constitution and corresponding laws provide for free and fair elections - at least in theory. But things are different in practice. The last parliamentary elections took place in 2008. In comparison to earlier polls (especially those in 2003), there was only little pre-electoral violence. Fewer cases of vote-buying and intimidation occurred, and international observers stated that some progress could be noted. However, it is worrying that some of the irregularities were allegedly perpetrated by Prime Minister Hun Sen‘s Cambodian People‘s Party (CPP) which dominates the country‘s political scene. Evidence suggests that the CPP successfully bought and/or intimidated competitors.

Political pluralism and participation is almost non-existent: By means of repression and threat, the CPP managed to establish a quasi one-party system. The only opposition party is the Sam-Rainsy-Party (SRP) whose leader lives in exile. Cambodians enjoy only little space to take part in politics.

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Absence of Unconstitutional Veto Players

The power of the Cambodian government remains largely unchallenged, there are no veto powers that pose a threat. Civilian control over the army and the security forces has officially been established. By constitutional standards there are no veto players in the political system of Cambodia. However, the Cambodian constitution does not comply with democratic standards, and government officials are not necessarily accountable to the public. This explains why Cambodia scores relatively low in this section even though there are no noteworthy veto players.

Freedom of Press

The freedom of press, speech and expression in Cambodia is restricted. Governmental control of the media focuses on national broadcasting stations as they are a major source of information for most Cambodians. Satellite-dishes are tolerated though, and make it possible to receive uncensored information from abroad. Newspapers and other print media enjoy limited freedom to criticise the government. But this is not due to restraint by the authorities but rather the limited range of print media. (They reach only about 10 percent of the population.) The internet is generally free from governmental control but only few people have access.

Rule of Law
Independence of the Judiciary

No data available.


Corruption is quite a serious problem and threatens to hinder social and economic development and stability. Many high-ranking officials abuse their power for private benefit. This is also true for the judicial branch: Courts are not always independent and impartial. Corruption also poses a major threat to the process of democratisation. The Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International ranks Cambodia only number 158 of 180 surveyed countries which emphasises the severity of this particular problem.

Protection of Human Rights

On the positive side, it has to be acknowledged that Cambodia abolished the death penalty several years ago. But the situation of human rights in Cambodia deteriorated in 2009 when conflicts between government and opposition became serious. Forced dislocation and land grabbing occur regularly and are one of the major human rights problems in Cambodia. Another critical subject is inequality between the genders. Even though the constitution grants equal treatment, the situation of women is problematic: Social and economic discrimination is commonplace. Domestic violence - such as beatings and rapes - occur frequently and go unpunished in most cases.

Economic Freedom
Security of Property Rights

No data available.

Size of Government: Expenditures, Taxes, and Enterprises

No data available.

Regulation of Credit, Labour, and Business

No data available.

Freedom to Trade Internationally

No data available.

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