November 17, 2017
SEOUL – ADN denounces the dissolution of Cambodia’s main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), as a result of the ruling made by the Cambodian Supreme Court. Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been ruling for 32 years, will run in next year’s election uncontested.
The Hun Sen government has gradually dismantled core democratic principles and institutions leading up to this final blow to democracy. Starting from 2016, we have seen an increase in frequency and severity of crackdowns on civil society actors that pose a threat to the regime’s legitimacy. Prominent political voices opposing the government, such as Kem Ley, were killed in broad daylight. More recently, severe crackdowns leading to the shutting down of the free press in Cambodia have been rampant, as well as imprisoning key political opposition leaders, Kem Sokha, and activists.
It is clear that the Supreme Court’s decision to dissolve the CNRP is Hun Sen’s plan to strong arm the elections to his favor and an indication of the demise of democratic institutions in Cambodia.
ADN echo’s the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights statement, that next year’s Cambodian elections are deemed illegitimate.
For Cambodia to thrive as a democracy, ADN demands the reinstatement of the CNRP to take part in free and fair elections, the release of opposition leader Kem Sokha, and to end all intimidation and threats to civil society.
-Asia Democracy Network