EU funding for Cambodia’s election betrays democracy

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/13 22:43:40

The EU announced Tuesday it has suspended its funding for Cambodia's 2018 general election. Given the nation's Supreme Court recently dissolved main opposition the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the EU claimed the electoral process will not be "legitimate."

Days after the dissolution, which was announced on November 16, the situation in Phnom Penh was quite peaceful with no sign of turmoil. The Western nations, on the other hand, found it hard to sit still and started to accuse the Cambodian government of eroding democracy.

However, while the West is pretending to talk democracy, what it is really concerned about is its own interests. According to Reuters, "Western donors have spent billions of dollars since 1993 trying to build a multiparty system following decades of war." Watching their investment toward the nation's opposition party come to naught, the West has finally tore off its mask of being neutral between the current government and the CNRP by totally siding with the opposition party.

Besides the EU, Washington also expressed concern that "next year's election will not be legitimate, free, or fair" and threatened to cut all aid for the country's 2018 election. However, none mentioned that Kem Sokha, leader of the CNRP, articulated four years ago that the CIA was helping his party topple the Cambodian government in a speech in Melbourne.

The West's recent words and actions clearly indicated the CNRP is their tool to realize a color revolution in Phnom Penh, so as to support a pro-West regime in the nation.

Over the years, the West provided assistance to the country, but it also cultivated a Cold War mindset there by inducing fierce political battles between different parties.

In terms of Kem Sokha's arrest for treason in September, for example, the government said it did so to prevent a color revolution and also to protect the nation's sovereignty. Opposition forces labeled it as a severe setback for democracy.

Against this backdrop, direct intervention by the West may destroy the achievements of Cambodia's development and lead the country toward chaos. It is therefore reasonable Phnom Penh be vigilant.

Western media has also been groundlessly accusing China of supporting Hun Sen, portraying Beijing's investment in Cambodia as neocolonialism while turning a blind eye to all the benefits Sino-Cambodian cooperation has brought to the country.

Neither the US nor the EU is the judge of Cambodia's democracy. The West is actually breaching the spirit of democracy by interfering in the nation's domestic affairs.

As a country with painful memories of turmoil and wars, the last thing Cambodia wants is chaotic revolution. It welcomes collaboration and aid from all countries, but such support should come with no strings attached.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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