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Hun Sen’s early retirement and Thaksin Shinawatra’s return signal power transitions in Cambodia and Thailand, but analysts are skeptical about meaningful change.
The real winners are far from clear, but Thailand’s populist, party jumping election is Asia’s vote to watch this year.
One of Cambodia’s last independent news outlets, VOD, was forcibly closed. This was allegedly due to VOD naming the prime minister’s son, and not the prime minister himself, as the signatory of an aid to Turkey after its recent earthquakes.
The opposition alleged a number of polling stations restricted access to onlookers, closing the doors and windows of stations from scrutiny. A party described the election as the “worst in history.”
Analysts said a troika had emerged made up of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, which share religious sympathies with the Muslim Rohingya and have opposed bringing the Myanmar junta into ASEAN after it was banned from attending its summits in response to the coup.
Hun Sen, Cambodia's Prime Minister, has sought to cast doubt that his son really is his heir apparent in recent remarks.
Dangerous, lightly regulated gold mining may be the culprit in the poisoning of hundreds of Cambodians. Prime Minister Hun Sen has dismissed the allegations while handing out new mining contracts to international companies.