FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 31, 2018
Cambodia National Rescue Party Praises International Response to Cambodia’s Sham Election
International community widely condemns Cambodia’s election after Prime Minister Hun Sen extends 33-year rule
After the EU, U.S. and the international community strongly rebuked Cambodia’s sham election, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the only viable opposition party which was banned from participating in the election, issued the following statement:
“CNRP welcomes the wide condemnation of the electoral process in Cambodia as ‘undemocratic’ (Canada), ‘flawed’ (U.S.), ‘seriously concerning’ (Australia), ‘not legitimate’ (EU), ‘not representative of the democratic will of the Cambodian people’ (EU, U.S.) and ‘lacking credibility’ (EU), by many governments across the world.
“CNRP is encouraged by the firm positions expressed by the EU, U.S., U.K., France, Canada, Australia, Germany and many other countries that the dissolution of the CNRP, the detention of CNRP leader Kem Sokha, and the banning of CNRP parliamentarians and officials from engaging in politics for five years, were unacceptable and have reversed more than 25 years of progress towards democracy in Cambodia.
“These clear positions taken by the majority of the international community follow the earlier decisions taken by many friendly nations that have traditionally supported Cambodia’s economic and democratic development – including the U.S., EU and lastly Japan – to either fully withdraw the support for the electoral process or not to send observers at the day of the elections.
“All these clear international reactions present an international validation of CNRP’s conclusion that Hun Sen has transformed Cambodia into an outright dictatorship.
“CNRP recalls its conclusion that, with the electoral sham, Hun Sen’s regime has invited sanctions and will ultimately bring down the Cambodian economy with it. The statements coming from many governments confirm that, including the indication of the U.S. to undertake ‘additional steps to respond to the elections and other recent setbacks to democracy and human rights in Cambodia, including a significant expansion of the visa restrictions,’ of Canada ‘to use every opportunity to promote freedom of expression and political participation’ and of the EU pointing out to its Council Conclusions of February 2018 which announce ‘specific targeted measures if the situation does not improve.’
“At the same time, CNRP takes note of the positions of Beijing deriving from the notion that ‘the parliamentary election is Cambodia’s internal affairs.’ Reminding that the Cambodian political system of liberal democracy is defined and guaranteed by the Paris Peace Accord from 1991, which is an international treaty that PR China is a party of, CNRP expects the authorities of the friendly PR China to take an active and positive role in an immediately convoked Paris Conference in accordance to the Accord’s provisions. Through such constructive approach, China will meet its sincere hope that Cambodia will maintain stability and make greater achievements in its national development.
“Together with the entire international and democratic community, CNRP will continue to be vocal in calling for the restoration of democracy, releasing opposition leader Kem Sokha and other political prisoners, reinstating the opposition, freedom of expression and political participation and allowing the independent media to freely operate.
“CNRP remains fully committed to these goals and will continue its close cooperation with all partners in Cambodia and abroad who share the same vision.”