Seán Kelly MEP has welcomed the overwhelming majority vote in favour of a European Parliament Resolution condemning the continuous crackdown of political opposition in Cambodia, on which he led negotiations for the EPP Group. The resolution was adopted with 526 MEPs voting in favour, 5 against, while 63 abstained at the Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg this week.
The resolution expressed concerns over the deterioration of the human rights situation in Cambodia, ahead of the commune elections in June, and next year’s national elections; and condemned the authorities’ intimidation of opposition election candidates, human rights defenders, journalists and others.
“We must not focus only on the upcoming local elections, but also look ahead to next year’s legislative elections. As the European Union we need to do our utmost to support democrats all across the world, whether in Ukraine or in Cambodia", said Kelly.
The document reminded that the Cambodian Government has previously used similar tactics to dismiss opposition parties and candidates.
“It is imperative that the Candlelight party is not dissolved under such ludicrous terms as the Cambodia National Rescue Party in 2017.
“I call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, not only politicians, but also journalists; and for the rehabilitation of politicians who have been banned from holding public office", the Ireland South MEP said while addressing the Parliament.
“We must send a clear message that Cambodia’s human rights backsliding has not gone unnoticed and that the EU is ready to act should there be any further crackdown on political opposition", he added.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States