Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM slams US take on Party Law

PM slams US take on Party Law

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at Phnom Penh International University's graduation ceremony yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at Phnom Penh International University's graduation ceremony yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

PM slams US take on Party Law

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday launched a not-so-thinly-veiled attack on the US over its recent public airing of concerns over the newly amended Law on Political Parties, arguing that its past bombing of Cambodia left it no moral high ground from which to criticise the government.

The US Embassy’s Monday statement had expressed concern that the changes – which open the door to dissolving parties whose leaders have criminal convictions gave the government “broad authority to restrict freedom of expression and the legitimate activities of political parties”. It also decried the “vaguely defined circumstances” that allowed for a party’s dissolution.

But speaking at a graduation ceremony yesterday, the prime minister suggested the embassy’s concerns were hypocritical.

“When you dropped bombs on our country, did you ever think about human rights?” he said. “The law passed by National Assembly is not killing Cambodian people as you did to Cambodian people.”

He then added that the law had been done for the “unity” of Cambodia. “Do you want a colour revolution? Make clear on this,” he said, once again raising the bugbear of a popular uprising against his rule.

The Foreign Ministry doubled down later in the day, releasing a statement saying it was “deeply disappointed” at the US’s “inappropriate reaction” to the amendments, adding that their statement was based on “groundless suspicions”.

In response, a US Embassy spokesman said only that the US was committed to its long-standing promotion of human rights and democracy and stood behind its February 20 statement.

Koul Panha, head of election monitor Comfrel, said the premier’s use of the word “unity”, against the backdrop of the recent changes to legislation, was questionable. “Unity cannot be only from one party,” he said. “Unity is not just a top-down approach; the people need to be engaged.”

MOST VIEWED

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested