27 October 2012
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS IN CAMBODIA
On 26 October 2012, the European Parliament adopted a “resolution on the situation in Cambodia” denouncing serious human rights violations and calling for democratic elections in 2013.
Regarding the forthcoming polls, the resolution draws attention to the “report of 16 July 2012 by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.” It notes that “according to the main findings of the UN report, major flaws exist in the administration of elections in Cambodia and urgent reforms are needed to give Cambodians confidence in the electoral process as the country approaches its general elections in July 2013.”
Through the resolution “the European Parliament
- Condemns all politically motivated sentences and convictions against political critics, parliamentary opposition politicians, notably Sam Rainsy, human rights defenders and land activists;
- Urges the Cambodian Government, the National Election Committee and the provincial election committees to implement the recent UN recommendations on reforming the electoral system to ensure it conforms with international standards before, during and after the casting of votes;
- Is concerned about the situation of Sam Rainsy, the leader of the Sam Rainsy Party, who has been convicted on charges that are allegedly politically motivated; urges the Cambodian Government and opposition parties to work towards reconciliation in order to enable the opposition to play a full role in Cambodian politics and in the forthcoming elections, in order to provide credibility to the electoral process.”
Following the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 to the European Union, this “resolution on the situation in Cambodia” by the European Parliament is a powerful and timely encouragement to all those who are engaged in the uphill battle for a real democracy in Cambodia.