Cambodia still follows principle of "liberal multi-party democracy" when opposition is dissolved: PM

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-08 11:41:32|Editor: ZD
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PHNOM PENH, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Wednesday that Cambodia will continue to stick to the principle of "liberal multi-party democracy" when the country's biggest opposition party is dissolved in a treason case.

Hun Sen said the Supreme Court would hear the case of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) dissolution on Nov. 16 and he "totally" believed that the party would be dissolved.

The prime minister added that without the CNRP's presence, there would still be many political parties taking part in two major elections next year.

"We are committed to continue the principle of liberal multi-party democracy, and will hold the Senate elections on Feb. 25, 2018 and the national elections on July 29, 2018," he said in a speech during a get-together with about 14,000 garment factory workers in Southwestern outskirts of Phnom Penh.

Meanwhile, he also renewed his call on the United States not to interfere in Cambodia's internal affairs.

The prime minister's remarks came after some critics said Cambodia would become a one-party state if the CNRP was disbanded and its senior members were banned from politics for five years.

The government lodged a complaint to the Supreme Court, requesting the dissolution of the CNRP on Oct. 6, a month after its leader Kem Sokha was arrested for allegedly plotting the overthrow of the government with the U.S. support. He was accused of treason, the charge that could face up to 30 years in prison.

CNRP is the main rival to the prime minister's ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP).

In the last national elections in 2013, the CNRP earned 55 parliamentary seats and the CPP won 68 seats in the 123-seat parliament.

Under the country's recently-amended election laws, if the CNRP is dissolved, all its parliamentary seats will be redistributed to other political parties taking part in the elections.