Cambodian interior ministry urges supreme court to dissolve main opposition party

Cambodian interior ministry urges supreme court to dissolve main opposition party

Lawyers for the government said the opposition had conspired with foreigners to topple the government, citing a 2013 video clip that shows Kem Sokha talking about a plan to take power with the help of Americans.

The Cambodian government on Friday sued to dissolve the country's main opposition party, intensifying a crackdown that has drawn widespread condemnation from Western governments.

The Interior Ministry filed a complaint to the Supreme Court on Friday, asking the court to dissolve the opposition CNRP after the Funcinpec Party and the Cambodian Youth Party (CYP) submitted complaints to the ministry asking that the party be folded.

The action comes just weeks after the government formally charged Kem Sokha, the leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, with treason, accusing him of plotting to overthrow government leaders with the backing of the United States. In 2013, Mr. Kem Sokha's party stunned the government by almost winning parliamentary elections, drawing support from young people seeking greater political and social freedom.

The CNRP has denied seeking to unlawfully or violently overthrow the government, saying the charge is politically motivated. One of the remaining parliamentarians derided allegations that the CNRP had been involved in planning a US-backed coup.

Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division, said the world is ignoring to Hun Sen's crackdown.

In August, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen promised garment factory workers they would receive free health-care from their employers, free access to public transport and a jump in the minimum wage to at least $168 per month at the start of next year.

In nationwide local elections in June, Hun Sen's CPP won most constituencies but received a weak majority of the popular vote, while the opposition party made gains.

More than a dozen radio stations that broadcast dissident voices or used programming from the USA government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Asia were forced to stop broadcasting for alleged breach of regulations.



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