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Canada shouldn’t treat Cambodia as pariah state, despite its turn to one-party rule

By Gordon Longmuir and Darren Touch      

Canada should cultivate its ties to Cambodia through persuasive approaches from our accredited diplomats and should even contemplate early ministerial connections, such as through visits following ASEAN meetings—not immediately, but in the next year or so.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power for 33 years, intends to remain in office for at least another 10 years. Photograph courtesy of the Kremlin

After 33 years in power, Hun Sen, Cambodia's incumbent prime minister, and the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) secured yet another mandate in a highly controversial election in late July. As of Aug. 15, the CPP has taken all 125 seats, effectively turning the country into a one-party state. With some Western countries condemning and withdrawing support from the country, what should Canada’s response be?   Following the election, Global Affairs Canada issued a statement calling on the government “to allow

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