Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliamentary form of government. In the National Assembly election in 2013, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) captured 68 seats, while the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) won 55 seats. International and local nongovernmental organization (NGO) observers assessed the election process suffered numerous flaws. The most recent elections held were for commune councilors on June 4, and the two major parties accepted the results. International and local observers deemed the elections perhaps the fairest in the country’s history, although most independent analysts noted the electoral process suffered numerous flaws that benefitted the ruling party, which won a plurality in more than two-thirds of the communes.
On September 3, the government arrested and detained CNRP President Kem Sokha on allegations of treason. On November 16, the CPP-dominated Supreme Court formally dissolved the CNRP on the same grounds and banned its leadership from electoral politics for five years. Many other opposition members, including members of civil society and independent media, were in detention, in hiding, or had fled the country fearing arrest.
The most significant human rights issues included: extrajudicial killings; at least one disappearance by local security forces; continued prisoner abuse in government facilities; arbitrary arrests by the government, including the warrantless arrest of the CNRP leader Kem Sokha; increased restrictions on freedoms of speech, assembly, and association including on press freedom and online expression; the use of violence and imprisonment--both actual and threatened--to intimidate the political opposition and civil society as well as to suppress dissenting voices.
Although the government prosecuted some officials who committed abuses, including those involved in corruption, most abuses persisted with impunity.