Cambodia.- US condemns Cambodia’s crackdown on opposition parties

Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia – Europa Press/Contact/Ly Lay


Days after the Cambodia Election Committee (NEC) main opposition body, Luz de Vela, rejected registration for the next elections scheduled for July 23, the US Government this Thursday denounced Cambodian authorities’ crackdown on opposition parties.

“The United States is deeply concerned that Cambodian authorities are preventing Luz de Vela from participating in national elections,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

“Fake legal actions, threats, harassment and politically motivated accusations against opposition parties, independent media and civil society undermine Cambodia’s international commitments to develop as a multi-party democracy,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Miller “strongly urged Cambodian authorities to step back to ensure that their citizens can participate in a multiparty democracy that is consistent and fair with the country’s Constitution”.

In this sense, he stressed that the country’s authorities must protect the citizens so that they can freely exercise their Human Rights, including freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression, without fear of reprisals.

However, he noted that Washington “does not plan to send official observers to the elections” because they are “part of an electoral process that many independent Cambodian and international experts consider neither free nor fair.”

Cambodia’s Election Committee rejected Luz de Vela’s registration on 15 May, claiming it had not submitted the relevant documents to the Ministry of Interior. However, according to ‘The Phnom Penh Post’ newspaper, the Ministry of Interior announced in early May that the opposition formation had correctly recorded that Teav Vannol was registered as chairman in accordance with party law.

According to the AKP news agency, although the opposition party has been excluded – it has said it is appealing against the decision – as of this Monday, after at least 20, 18 more have been approved.

Source: Noti Merica

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