Court orders dissolution of Cambodian opposition party

Phonom Penh: In a blow to democracy, Cambodian government has supported the Supreme Court’s decision to dissolve its rival Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

The ruling, which did not surprise anyone, comes ahead of national elections in June next year and guarantees Prime Minister Hun Sen another long innings since he assumed power in 1985.

The CNRP is being accused of trying to topple the government. CNRP denies the charge and says it is politically motivated.

In an address to the nation, Hun Sen said his government will stick to multiparty democracy and urged citizens to maintain calm.

He has set a 15-day deadline for CNRP members to defect to his Cambodian People’s Party. So far, nearly 200 opposition members have joined the ruling party.

While the rights of some CNRP members have been suspended, other party members and activists still enjoy their rights, Hun Sen said.

All CNRP members who had won seats in commune elections in June will lose seats if they do not defect to the ruling party within 15 days.

The court ruling marks the end of democracy in Cambodia and international community should impose sanctions on the country, CNRP leader Mu Sochua told a news channel.