Political tensions are escalating in Cambodia

The United Nations raises concerns over political turmoil in Cambodia, featuring arrests of important politicians

Cambodia is preparing for next elections in July 2018, as the country’s leaders of the opposition began facing legal charges for their actions. Political tensions here have risen since last elections in 2013, when the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), led Sam Rainsy, accused the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) of electoral cheating. Following 2013 Parliament boycotts, Rainsy spent almost 2 years in exile to avoid jail.

“The Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) is concerned about the escalating tensions between the ruling and opposition parties in Cambodia, particularly arrests or attempted arrests. A non-threatening environment of democratic dialogue is essential for political stability and a peaceful and prosperous society,” Devi Palanivelu, spokeswoman for the U.N. commented.

Rainsy’s deputy, Kem Sokha, also faces court charges, as he was accused of procurement of prostitution. If the deputy gets arrested, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party joined by a local workers union threatened mass protests and a reload of the parliamentary boycott.