US House Passes ‘Cambodia Democracy Act’

The US House of Representatives recently passed the “Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019”.

If passed by the Senate and signed into legislation by Donald Trump, the bill would allow the president to sanction high-level Cambodian officials who are deemed responsible for subverting democratic institutions and engaging in human rights violations.

According to the law itself, it purports to “promote free and fair elections, political freedoms and human rights in Cambodia, and other purposes”.

The bill comes in the wake of 2018 elections that saw Hun Sen and the Cambodian Supreme Court–headed by a Hun Sen ally–dissolve the only opposition party, Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

Since 1991, the Hun Sen regime has issued multiple draconian crackdowns on the media, dissidents, and non-governmental organizations.

The bill calls out “the undemocratic rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the enactment of the NGO law, restrictions on the media, the arrest of Kem Sokha (CNRP leader) and the dissolution of the CNRP, six unfair and unfree elections since 1991 and ungenuine 2018 elections”.

According to Southeast Asian legal experts, Hun Sen–who is already the longest sitting prime minister in the world–has effectively laid the grounds for a hereditary dictatorship, with his son set to assume power in 10 years when he steps down.

Read the full story here.

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