Minister says CNRP ban prevented bloodshed

May Titthara / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Interior Minister Sar Kheng. KT/ Mai Vireak

Interior Minister Sar Kheng has said the decision to dissolve the opposition CNRP was the right measure to avoid bloodshed in the country.

Mr Kheng once again claimed that the opposition aimed to overthrow the government through a colour revolution.

Speaking at a reception for nearly 600 retired police officers on Friday in Battambang province, Mr Kheng said the dissolution of the CNRP helped avoid the return of violence to the kingdom.

“If the opposition’s colour revolution had been successful, it would have been impossible for democracy to survive and for the internal divisions of Cambodia to unite, which could have caused a civil war. The government prevented this situation,” he said.

On November 16, the Supreme Court dissolved the opposition CNRP following complaints filed by Funcinpec and the Cambodian Youth Party in the wake of CNRP leader Kem Sokha’s arrest on treason charges.

A total of 118 senior CNRP members were also banned from politics for five years.

After the CNRP’s dissolution, some countries imposed visa restrictions on Cambodia.

Washington announced visa restrictions for “individuals responsible for undermining Cambodian democracy,” and both the US and EU warned of economic sanctions on Cambodian imports if the government did not allow the CNRP and Kem Sokha to re-register for the 2018 election.

Former opposition lawmaker Ou Chanrath said the party’s dissolution disappointed more than a million people in the country.

He added that people were currently quiet, but that did not mean they were happy.

“All parties should be able to run for office following a democratic process. That is how you avoid bloodshed,” Mr Chanrath said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen warned against possible remnants of the failed colour revolution during the inauguration ceremony of an intelligence training facility last year, and called for the military to be ready to stop a possible revolt.

“We cut off their heads and dissolved their bodies. It was the right thing to prevent war from exploding in Cambodia,” the premier said.

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