Russian Election Commission Invites Cambodian Counterparts for 2024 Presidential Polls

In a development that is generating significant interest, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Russia has invited the organizers of Cambodian elections to observe the forthcoming presidential elections in Russia, slated for March 2024.

According to the telegraph channel of the CEC of the Russian Federation, member Konstantin Mazurevsky extended the invitation. This engagement between the two nations’ electoral bodies comes amid a context of Cambodian politics that is both controversial and deeply entrenched.

Cambodia’s strongman, Hun Sen, a former commander of the Khmer Rouge, has firmly held onto power for almost four decades, making him one of the world’s longest-serving rulers. His rule, marked by the systematic dismantling of the opposition, imprisonment of dissidents, and driving away potential challengers, has been unassailable and dictatorial.

Translated from Khmer, his official title reads, “kingly glorious supreme commander of the glorious victorious armed forces”. Often referring to himself in the third person, Hun Sen goes by “the golden five-star general of eternity”. His reign is parallel to that of Zimbabwe’s infamous dictator, Robert Mugabe, who also maintained an iron grip on power for nearly 40 years.

In 2011, Hun Sen expressed his unyielding stance towards any form of dissent, stating, “Not only will I weaken the opposition, I want them dead… And if someone feels strong and tries to stage a demonstration, then I’ll beat these dogs up and put them in a cage.”

Despite such a backdrop, it appears that Russia sees value in inviting Cambodian electoral organizers to observe its presidential elections. This interaction offers a fascinating insight into the foreign relations dynamic between two nations whose leaders are marked by a proclivity for authoritarian rule.


Source: The Eastern Herald

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