US Halts Foreign Aid, Imposes Visa Restriction After CPP’s Win In Flawed Cambodian Elections

By Enyichukwu Enemanna

The United States says it would put on hold some foreign assistance programs in Cambodia following the declaration of victory by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) after flawed national elections on Sunday.

Washington also says it would implement a visa ban on individuals it accused of undermining democracy.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement that Washington was “troubled” that the elections, in which Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP faced no viable opponent were “neither free nor fair.”

“Ahead of the elections, Cambodian authorities engaged in a pattern of threats and harassment against the political opposition, media, and civil society that undermined the spirit of the country’s constitution and Cambodia’s international obligations,” Miller said.

“In response, the United States has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on individuals who undermined democracy and implemented a pause of certain foreign assistance programs,” he added.

The White House called on Cambodian authorities to restore genuine multi-party democracy, end politically motivated trials and drop the convictions of government critics and allow independent media to operate without interference in order to “improve the country’s international standing.”

Self-acclaimed strongman Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for 38 years, had dismissed Western concern about the election’s credibility.

He seems determined to prevent any obstacle in his carefully pre-planned transition to his anointed successor and eldest son, Hun Manet.

Credit GistNew

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