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‘Cambodia Spring’ Unlikely, Political Observers Say (Cambodia news in Khmer)

  • VOA Khmer

In the year and a half of turmoil that has followed the Arab Spring of early 2011, policymakers and analysts have turned to the geopolitical map to assess whether or not the domino-effect revolutionary patterns in the Middle East will catch on in other corners of the developing world. Southeast Asia, a region with political instability and economic underdevelopment on par with that of pre-revolutionary Syria, has proven prone to this scrutiny. However, there is little support for the notion of a “Cambodian Spring,” observers say. The Cambodian government has long boasted the very characteristics that spurred upheaval after upheaval across the Middle East last year: corrupt processes of lawmaking with roots in patronage, a leader whose power seems to approach permanence in spite of “fair” and “regular” election, and a habit of persecution against those who speak out against it. “Cambodians are becoming comfortable for the first time in quite a long time,” journalist and blogger Faine Greenwood told VOA Khmer. “They’re making more money, and they don’t want to mess things up… relatively speaking, things are OK.” (Men Kimseng, Washington)