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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Cambodia: the banning of the opposition

12.12.2017 - (2017/3002(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Tomáš Zdechovský, Jaromír Štětina, Claude Rolin, Jarosław Wałęsa, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Tunne Kelam, Pavel Svoboda, Patricija Šulin, Elisabetta Gardini, Csaba Sógor, Ivan Štefanec, Michaela Šojdrová, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Cristian Dan Preda, László Tőkés, Ivana Maletić, Milan Zver, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Adam Szejnfeld, Eduard Kukan, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Dubravka Šuica, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Sandra Kalniete, Lars Adaktusson, Andrey Kovatchev, Seán Kelly, Deirdre Clune, Marijana Petir, Jeroen Lenaers, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Francisco José Millán Mon on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0686/2017

Menetlus : 2017/3002(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Cambodia: the banning of the opposition


The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia,

-  having regard to the Statement by the Spokesperson of the European External Action Service of 16 November 2017 on the dissolution of Cambodian National Rescue Party,

-  having regard to the 1997 Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Cambodia,

-    having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

-  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

-  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 6 October 2017, the Ministry of Interior filed a request to dissolve the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) under the Law on Political Parties, before the Supreme Court;

B.  whereas on 16 November 2017, the Supreme Court, announced the dissolution of the CNRP, at the end of a one-day hearing; whereas the Supreme Court has also banned 118 of CNRP politicians from political activity for five years;

C.  whereas the dissolution is largely based on allegations of a plot for a so called "colour revolution" led by the CNRP, seeking to overthrow the Cambodian Government;

D.  whereas the decision to dissolve the CNRP is a significant step away from the path of pluralism and democracy enshrined in Cambodia's constitution; whereas a large number of CNRP lawmakers and party members have fled the country;

E.  whereas Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha remains in prison since his arrest on 3 September 2017; whereas Kem Sokha’s request for bail was rejected on 26 September, while he was unable to attend the hearing, after the prisons department said they could not ensure his safety; whereas the bail request is now pending with the Supreme Court;

F.   whereas there are signs of increasing influence of China on the Cambodian government, including strengthening political, military and economic ties; whereas this influence is not conducive to genuine pluralistic democracy that Cambodia had been striving for;

G.  whereas the general elections in Cambodia are scheduled for July 2018;

1.  Condemns the dissolution of the CNRP and the banning of 118 CNRP politicians from political activity for five years;

2.  Supports the view of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that the accusations against the CNRP and its members were vague, as were the legal provisions supporting the complaint to dissolve it;

3.  Stresses that the decision by the Supreme Court to dissolve the CNRP must be reversed immediately; underlines that all parties, including the CNRP, must be able to carry out freely their legitimate functions;

4.  Reiterates its call for the immediate and unconditional release of Kem Sokha, for all charges against him to be dropped, and for an end to threats of arrest against other opposition lawmakers;

5.  Expresses grave concerns about the conduct of credible and transparent elections in Cambodia in 2018 following the decision by the Supreme Court to dissolve the CNRP; stresses that an electoral process from which the main opposition party has been arbitrarily excluded is not legitimate, and that a transparent and competitive election is a key instrument in guaranteeing peace and stability in the country and the entire region;

6.  Reiterates its call on the Cambodian Government to work towards strengthening democracy and the rule of law and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, which include full compliance with the constitutional provisions concerning pluralism and freedom of association and expression;

7.   Calls on the HR/VP Federica Mogherini and the EU Special Representative for Human Rights to use all means available to protect fundamental rights of the Cambodian people to elect and be elected, to guarantee pluralism and democratic principles strictly in line with Cambodia's Constitution;


8.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the Government and National Assembly of Cambodia.