UN tells Cambodia to ease tensions


Jul 29, 2018-

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on politicians in Cambodia to reduce tensions ahead of elections devoid of credible opposition candidates and denounced as flawed.

The vote on Sunday is all but sure to deliver victory to the governing party of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for 33 years. The United Nations played a leading role in organizing Cambodia’s first elections in 1993 after the country emerged from decades of war and

the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era.

In a statement on Friday, Guterres recalled that “an inclusive and pluralistic political process remains essential for safeguarding the progress made by Cambodia in consolidating peace.”

He called on “all political actors to reduce tensions and political polarization” and urged the government to uphold human rights, allowing civil society and political parties “to exercise their democratic rights.”

The statement was released just hours after Hun Sun addressed a rally on the final day of campaigning, boasting that he had eliminated “traitors”.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a government request and ordered that the main opposition party be disbanded.

The opposition has urged supporters to boycott the poll in a “clean finger” campaign—a reference to the ink applied to voters’ fingers by polling officials after they have cast their ballot.

Many of the key figures in the opposition have fled the country including Sam Rainsy who now lives in France.

Published: 29-07-2018 08:46

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