Cambodia – Dissolution of the main opposition party (16 November 2017)

The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved on November 16 and 118 members of this party were banned from holding political office for 5 years. The CNRP is the main Cambodian opposition party and had secured almost half of the votes during the parliamentary elections in 2013 and the local elections in June 2017.

This decision by the Cambodian Supreme Court calls into question the democratic process initiated following the conclusion of the Paris agreements in 1991. In the absence of the main opposition party, the 2018 parliamentary elections will not be considered free and democratic.

France regrets this further deterioration in the political climate following the arrest of the leader of the CNRP, Kem Sokha, and the closing of several media outlets and NGOs.

France urges the Cambodian authorities to once again become part of a democratic process and to allow the opposition, media and civil society to function without hindrance.