East Asia Forum / Katrin Travouillon
Entering 2020, analysts widely agreed that stabilising Cambodiaâs one-party rule was high on Prime Minister Hun Senâs list of priorities. COVID-19 unexpectedly played into his hands. Cambodiaâs successful public health response and extremely low case numbers have strengthened the governmentâs claim to leadership. The pandemic provided a convenient justification to police dissenting voices and increase restrictions on fundamental freedoms. It also undermined the banned Cambodian National Rescue Partyâs (CNRP) strategy for reinstatement.