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From Canada, former opposition leader urges delay of Cambodia's national election

Opposition figure Mu Sochua (second left) stands outside the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on Tuesday. During testimony on the human rights situation in Cambodia, she called for this year’s July 29 national election to be delayed. Facebook
Opposition figure Mu Sochua (second left) stands outside the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on Tuesday. During testimony on the human rights situation in Cambodia, she called for this year’s July 29 national election to be delayed. Facebook

From Canada, former opposition leader urges delay of Cambodia's national election

Former opposition deputy leader Mu Sochua suggested delaying Cambodia’s July 29 national elections in testimony before the Canadian parliament’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights on Tuesday.

Sochua fled Cambodia following the September arrest of opposition party leader Kem Sokha after receiving word from a government official that her own arrest was imminent.

Speaking in Ottawa, Sochua also warned foreign investors not to pour their money into the Kingdom and asked for a special Canadian delegation to visit Cambodia to put pressure on lawmakers.

“Your money is not safe,” she said of Canadian investors in Cambodia. “You are contributing to the disaster, to the death of Cambodia as far as democracy is concerned.”

She spoke of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s determination to hold the national elections on July 29 and urged Canada to take “immediate” action, as parties wanting to register for the election must do so by the end of April. “We have four weeks. But yet, it doesn’t mean time is up . . . The election day can be pushed back,” she said.

“We want to go back so we can put Cambodia back on track. We have no more time to lose.”

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said it was highly unlikely the date of elections would be shifted, as the premier had publicly committed to holding the national polls at the end of July.

“No delay at all. The prime minister said it,” Siphan said, adding Sochua’s appeal to investors “won’t work”.

“Investors, they really like to invest in Cambodia because of stability, because of peace,” he said.

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