Democracy remains ‘unharmed’, say politicians

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Speakers attend a seminar yesterday. KT/Mai Vireak

Politicians from various parties have agreed democracy will continue to develop in Cambodia, despite the dissolution of the CNRP last week.

The comments were made at a Royal Academy of Cambodia round table following the court ruling on the disbandment of the opposition.

Four of six political parties have said they will accept National Assembly seats following the dissolution of the CNRP.

They are Funcinpec, the Cambodian Nationality Party, the Khmer Economic Development Party and the Republican Democracy Party.

Two parties will not accept seats – the Khmer Anti-Poverty Party and the League for Democracy Party.

Funcinpec representative Phann Sothy said Cambodia’s democracy was still alive after the CNRP’s dissolution.

“Democracy in our country will keep moving forward as normal. This has been the case from the past until now, as seen by the number of elections held,” he said.

Ruling CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said pluralism and democracy in Cambodia would not die along with the CNRP.

“Despite the absence of any single party, political pluralism and democracy in Cambodia will still move forward,” he said.

Mr Eysan also criticised the now defunct CNRP and accused it of having attempted to destroy the democratic gains achieved by the country over the past two decades when they conspired with a foreign country to topple the legitimate government.

However League for Democracy Party secretary-general Chen Thon said democracy in Cambodia was still lacking and required strengthening.

“Whether or not the CNRP were dissolved, democracy in the country remains the same,” he said.    

Mr Thon reaffirmed his party’s refusal to take up CNRP seats in the National Assembly.​ “The LDP is not suitable for either taking the CNRP’s seats or representing the people who voted for CNRP,” he said.

Last week the Supreme Court decided to dissolve CNRP on treason charges.

In an immediate response, the US announced it would terminate support for the National Election Committee and its administration of the upcoming 2018 national election.

Leaving the discussion, Mr Eysan told media the US cut to election funding meant it was trying to destroy democracy in Cambodia.

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