September 26, 2022

Cambodian Senate Dismisses “Cambodia Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2022” Adopted by U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

The Spokesperson of the Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia has rejected the "Cambodia Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2022 (S.3052)", which is biased and constitutes interference in internal affairs of a sovereign state.

“The Spokesperson of the Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia is utterly dismayed at and emphatically dismisses the biased, unfounded and prejudiced content of ‘Cambodia Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2022 (S.3052)’, whose recent passage by the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States was driven by geopolitical rather than values motives,” read a statement dated July 22.

Claiming that none of Cambodia's elections was free and fair is a gross denial of the facts, said the statement, explaining that the U.S. observer team headed by the late Congressman Stephen J. Solarz portrayed the 1998 election as a "miracle on the Mekong". The subsequent ones have been assessed by thousands of national and international observers as free, fair, peaceful and orderly.

Likewise, it added, thousands of local and foreign monitors characterised last month's communal voting contested by 17 political parties as free, fair, orderly, peaceful, transparent, free of threats and in compliance with international standards. The outcomes, namely the turnout of more than 80 percent and close to 75 percent of the ballots choosing the ruling party, are truly indicative of their continued trust and support for the need to sustain the hard-won peace, political stability and unimpeded sustainable development. Their choice and voice reflected in the electoral outcome must be respected.

“The proposed legislation excessively subscribed to contested sources, particularly the Human Rights Watch whose credibility had been compromised since 2004. A former UN Assistant Secretary General and two Nobel Peace Laureates, along with over 100 scholars, published an open letter criticising this biased organisation fraught with double standards,” the statement underlined.

According to the same source, the approach taken by the Senate's Committee constitutes interference in internal affairs of a sovereign state, and hinders the ongoing maintenance of peace and political stability and promotion of socio-economic development for all. Furthermore, it runs counter to the spirit and shared aspiration of the peoples of the two nations who have endeavored to whatsoever cultivate good relations as well as improve friendship and cooperation on the basis of the common interests and mutual respect between our peoples and countries.

The Spokesperson of the Senate also reaffirmed Cambodia's unwavering commitments to promote rule of law, respect for human rights, and safeguarding of peace and stability that have been hard-earned up to the present. “The Cambodian people across the country have been happily appreciating and enjoying the fruits of decade-long achievements for their peaceful life,” concluded the spokesperson.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press