U.S. Congressmen Urge Gov’t to Respect Voters’ Rights

Three U.S. congressmen have asked the U.S. government to “publicly express support for the rule of law and call on the [Cambodian] government to respect the right of every Cambodian citizen to vote.”

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson dated May 25, Alan Lowenthal, Steve Chabot and Edward Royce said the commune elections “will be critical to the future of democracy in Cambodia.”

Their concerns include controversial new amendments to the Law on Political Parties, which resulted in the resignation of former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy, and reports of Prime Minister Hun Sen threatening civil war if his party does not win the vote.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. State Department earlier this month called for freedom of expression to be respected during the elections. Department spokeswoman for East Asia Alicia Edwards said the Cambodian government should “guarantee a political space free from threats or intimidation,” the AP reported. 

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