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US Lawmaker Urges Cambodia to Respect Opposition Voices

  • Kong Sothanarith
  • VOA Khmer

US Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA) wrapped up her one-week visit to Cambodia on Thursday.

US Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA) wrapped up her one-week visit to Cambodia on Thursday.

US Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA) wrapped up her one-week visit to Cambodia on Thursday and urged politicians to work together to ensure opposition voices are heard.

“It's very important for the opposition to have a very robust life in the politics of any country,” Niki Tsongas said at a press conference in Phnom Penh.

Congresswoman Tsongas met with government officials, civil society groups, business community, and opposition parties.

The Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen has dominated the country’s politics for more than three decades leaving increasingly small space for the opposition to operate. Opposition lawmakers often face legal action for speaking out, forcing some of them to flee the country to avoid imprisonment.

“The immunity of opposition lawmakers has been suspended easily and without any clear reason,” said Son Chhay, lawmaker of the Sam Rainsy Party.

Son Chhay said the government regularly ignores the requests or questions from opposition lawmakers.

However, National Assembly member Cheam Yeap, from the ruling party, denied there is discrimination.

“We listen to all parties,” he said.

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