There are concerns regarding the relevance of the electoral process in Cambodia. While, at least in theory, the constitution and corresponding laws provide for free and fair elections, in practice things are different.
The last parliamentary elections took place in 2008 and, compared to earlier polls, (especially those in 2003), there were fewer incidents of 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 Senâ€˜s Cambodian Peopleâ€˜s Party (CPP), which dominates the countryâ€˜s political scene. Evidence suggests that the CPP successfully bought and/or intimidated
Political pluralism and participation is almost non-existent: By means of repression and threat, the CPP aims to establish a quasi one-party system. There are two opposition parties: The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), whose leader is forced to live in exile since having been sentenced to 12 years in jail in 2009, and the Human Rights Party (HRP). Cambodians enjoy little space to take part in politics.