Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP trades criticism with CNRP

CPP trades criticism with CNRP

Pedestrians pass the headquarters of the now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party as a supporter paints over the party’s logo after its dissolution earlier this month.
Pedestrians pass the headquarters of the now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party as a supporter paints over the party’s logo after its dissolution earlier this month. Hong Menea

CPP trades criticism with CNRP

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party and representatives of the Senate and National Assembly traded barbs over the weekend with the recently dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party – with each side accusing the other of undermining democracy.

On Friday, the CNRP criticised the National Election Committee’s forwarding to the National Assembly of candidate lists from each party eligible to receive the now-defunct opposition party’s 55 seats.

The CNRP’s elected lawmakers are “still the legal representatives of the voters”, the statement reads, a right that can only be withdrawn “through ballot in free, fair, and just elections”.

The party added that Cambodia could “fall into sanctions” should the political course fail to change – a threat the CPP latched onto in dismissing the recently shuttered opposition.

“The CPP wishes to condemn any person who tries to use peaceful people as hostages by governing the foreigners to put sanctions on the country to serve their interests,” the statement reads.

A National Assembly and Senate joint declaration on Friday, meanwhile, said that the two institutions remained the “representatives for all Khmers and voters”, despite the fact that elected CNRP members of the Assembly have been ousted, as have the opposition commune councillors who would have voted on Senate appointments early next year.

“The Assembly . . . wishes to clarify our stance to continue to promote liberal, multi-party democracy and to respect human rights and rule of law.”

The joint statement then brushed off international criticism of the recent crackdown, classifying it as “interference in Cambodia’s internal affairs”, specifically pointing at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the US Senate. It also compared jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha to former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who is under investigation for allegedly colluding with Russia before the 2016 election.

On November 16, the US Senate passed a resolution condemning “all forms of political violence in Cambodia” and urged the Department of the Treasury to consider imposing visa bans and freezing assets of senior government officials.

The IPU, a body with 178 parliamentarians from different countries, also criticised the dissolution of the party.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said pretentions of “multi-party democracy”, as espoused in the joint Assembly and Senate statement, are laughable.

“For the CPP, rule of law means ‘whatever we say it is’ and multi-party democracy translates to ‘us and a bunch of small parties we control.’ It’s a wonder that the CPP can put these kinds of statements out and maintain a straight face because it’s so ludicrous that it really has become dark comedy,” he said.

Additional reporting by Leonie Kijewski


  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from