Cambodia’s election ban on opposition widely condemned

Authorities continue to insist that the Southeast Asian country is ‘liberal, pluralistic, and democratic’.

The European Union, France, Germany, Australia and pro-democracy advocates have led a sharp international rebuke of the disqualification of the main opposition Candlelight Party (CLP) from contesting Cambodia’s July 23 election.

In Phnom Penh, Australian Ambassador Justin Whyatt said his country was “deeply concerned” about the decision by the National Election Committee (NEC) which claimed the CLP’s registration forms were unacceptable, saying “Cambodian democracy is not served by this development.”

“Multiparty liberal democracy requires political parties, laws and institutions that allow various political parties to participate and compete fairly on election day,” he said. “The fact that any party cannot register to stand for election is not a democracy in Cambodia.”

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