Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s democracy rank slips

Kingdom’s democracy rank slips

Kingdom’s democracy rank slips

Cambodian democracy regressed last year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2015 Democracy Index, which indicates that the Kingdom is “on the cusp of the ‘authoritarian regime’ category”.

The index measures five categories – electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture – none of which saw an improvement over the Kingdom’s 2014 scores.

Cambodia’s ranking, meanwhile, dropped 10 places, to 113 out of 167 countries. EIU attributed the fall to the breakdown of the “culture of dialogue” – the uneasy, short-lived detente between opposition leader Sam Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen – which had boosted the country’s score in 2014.

“In Cambodia a 2014 deal between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition broke down when the government began a crackdown on the opposition in October 2015, prompting a sharp fall in the country’s score and ranking,” according to the report.

Political analyst Ou Virak expressed no surprise at the findings, saying: “In previous years also, Cambodian politics haven’t changed very much – the CPP is very authoritarian”.

Several government and CPP spokespeople declined to comment or could not be reached.

The EIU categorises countries as full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes or authoritarian regimes. Cambodia, with a score of 4.27, falls into the hybrid regime category, just above the 4.0 threshold for authoritarian regimes. Though the US – whose secretary of state is due to discuss “concerns about political developments” with the premier today – earned a ranking of 20, it sits just above the cut-off for “flawed democracy”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget