WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Steve Chabot (OH-01) and Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), co-chairs of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus, released the following statement regarding the dissolution of the main opposition political party in Cambodia by the Supreme Court of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s regime:
“This is a dark day for the fledgling democracy of Cambodia. Despite Prime Minister Hun Sen’s prior commitments to hold free and fair elections in Cambodia, it is now clear that as long as he remains in power, democracy will never be given an opportunity to flourish. Hun Sen, in banning his main political opposition party, has effectively turned Cambodia into his own personal autocracy: his main political opposition is banned, many of its members have fled, some have been arrested, independent press outlets have been shuttered, and civic organizations have been silenced. For the time being, this is the end of democracy in Cambodia.
“The actions by the Hun Sen regime also guarantee that the Cambodian national elections scheduled for next year will be little more than an autocratic sham. Hun Sen has now delegitimized any standing he may have had on the international stage.
“Only a full reversal of these actions and a rededication to the democratic freedoms that were guaranteed the people of Cambodia can lead to their nation being accepted by the international community.”