The highest court in Cambodia decided to ban the Cambodian National Rescue Party the main opposition party to Prime Minister Hun Sen. By removing the CNRP Prime Minister Sen’s party will most likely keep political power as it has in some form since 1979. Dissolving the CNRP is part of a recent crackdown by the Cambodian ruling party on political rivals and critics of the government. As part of the ban on the CNRP, its members are prevented from taking part in politics for five years, and any parliamentary seats the party has are taken away. The Cambodian government accused the CNRP of collaborating with foreign powers to topple the government. The crackdowns have targeted the main leadership of the CNRP. Of the fifty five leaders of the CNRP, forty four have fled from Cambodia, eleven are still in the country and two have been detained. Prime Minister Sen who was a commander for the Khmer Rouge Regime which is estimated to have killed around two million people during its rule of Cambodia during the 1970’s. He also has routinely repressed free speech and used corruption to maintain control for his thirty-two years in office. In 2005, Sen said his political opponents ”should prepare coffins and say their wills to their wives.”
This is just one of many examples of the repression that Sen’s government has used during the thirty eight years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. The CNRP was a serious challenge to Sen’s power in the upcoming 2018 elections, but since it has been dissolved, Sen is expected to maintain power.