Cambodian parliament put leader of the opposition offside with a change in the law

Cambodian parliament put leader of the opposition offside with a change in the law

Photo: AFP

The parliament in Cambodia has Monday an amendment to the law passed that politicians with a strafbad that does not stand for election. This will be the biggest rival of prime minister Hu Sen, opposition leader Sam Rainsy, sidelined.

The amendment relates to a law from 1998 that political parties prohibits committing hate, support to separatist movements and activities that the national security is in danger. Politicians who are convicted of a crime shall not be elected and their parties could be dissolved.

Under the new rules, opposition leader Sam Rainsy not to participate in elections. He lives in exile in France since he is in 2015 was convicted of libel. According to Rainsy were the accusations politically motivated. He moved earlier this month from the National Cambodian Reddingspartij (CNRP) in order to preserve for termination.

‘Fake democracy’

According to the opposition tries prime minister Hu Sen the local elections in June and the national elections of next year in advance to win by his opponents. Hu Sen, a former warrior of the Khmer rouge, since 1998, to the power.

Critics warn that the changes to the democratic multiparty system in the Southeast Asian country in danger and can lead to a one-party state. Cambodia is a democracy since a peace agreement in 1991 made an end to decades of armed conflict.

A spokesperson of human rights organization Human Rights Watch said that the amendment of the act on a consolidation of the absolute power entails. “Cambodia is now a fake-democracy. The silence of foreign governments and hulpdonoren that this move is following is very daunting.”

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