Ruling Cambodian People’s Party has decided that 28 opposition lawmakers should be expelled from the National Assembly ahead of elections next month.
Reports say the ruling committee disclosed that 25 legislators from the former Sam Rainsy Party and three from the former Human Rights Party lost their legal right to sit in the assembly because they join another party called the new Cambodia National Rescue Party.
Many aired their opinions saying the action was illegal and asserted it would hurt the opposition lawmakers’ ability to campaign for their rights and critique the ruling party especially they will be stripped off their allowances and salary..
US concerned with the decision by the Cambodia’s ruling party
In a press statement by US Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki says the United States is deeply concerned by reports that the Permanent Committee of the Cambodian National Assembly, made up entirely of members of the ruling party, has expelled opposition lawmakers from the National Assembly.
She underlines that such move starkly contradicts the spirit of a healthy democratic process.
“We strongly support a political process that includes the full participation of all political parties on a level playing field.” – Ms. Psaki
She says stripping the salaries and parliamentary status of opposition party legislators deprives the Cambodian people of their voice and hurts the democratic process in Cambodia.
In addition, Ms. Psaki explains that full participation of all elected representatives is essential to the democratic process.
The US urges the National Assembly leadership to allow all elected members to fulfill their commitment to serve the Cambodian people.
US and Cambodia work well together in so many ways.
In the past two years, bilateral relations between the United States and Cambodia have strengthened.
The U.S. supports efforts in Cambodia to combat terrorism, build democratic institutions, promote human rights, foster economic development, eliminate corruption, achieve the fullest possible accounting for Americans missing from the Vietnam War-era, and to bring to justice those most responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed under the Khmer Rouge regime, according to Wikipedia.
Cambodia has assumed chairmanship in the upcoming the ASEAN Regional Forum in July 2012.
Freedom House reports that Cambodia dropped to Not Free status because of increased violence against journalists.