The United States expresses grave concern about the Cambodian government’s dissolution of the country’s main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), based on meritless and politicized allegations that it participated in a conspiracy to overthrow the government. It is becoming increasingly evident to the world that the Cambodian government’s restrictions on civil society, suppression of the press, and banning of more than 100 opposition leaders from political activities have significantly set back Cambodia’s democratic development and placed its economic growth and international standing at risk.
The United States will take concrete steps to respond to the Cambodian government’s deeply regrettable actions. As a first step, we will terminate support for the Cambodian National Election Committee and its administration of the upcoming 2018 national election. On current course next year’s election will not be legitimate, free, or fair.
The Cambodian government still has time to reverse course. We call on the Royal Government of Cambodia to undo its recent actions against the CNRP, release imprisoned CNRP leader Kem Sokha, and allow opposition parties, civil society, and the media to maintain their legitimate activities.