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Malaysia and Cambodia widen the democracy-dictatorship divide

With 2018 elections, neighbors tug ASEAN in opposing political directions

Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party campaigned with posters like this one, but its victory was always a foregone conclusion.   © Getty Images

JAKARTA -- In contrast to Malaysia's electoral earthquake in May, which resulted in the first opposition win since independence, elections on July 29 in Cambodia produced a predictable landslide victory for Prime Minister Hun Sen, in power since 1985.

His Cambodian People's Party claims to have won all 125 seats available, prompting Mu Sochea, an exiled opposition leader, to tell media in Jakarta that election day "marked the death of democracy in Cambodia."

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