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Government Denies Asian Human Rights Report On CPP's Power Grab

The Cambodian government high ranking officials immediately react to Asia human rights organizations' reports condemning the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of grabbing power, and saying that this report is false and does not understand the situation in Cambodia.

Thirty three Asia human rights organizations including 2 human rights organizations in Cambodia, Licadho and Adhoc issued a joint report Monday, criticizing the CPP of grabbing political power by removing royalist FUNCINPEC party officials, and wielding more power without having to face any opposition.

Government spokesman and minister of information Khieu Kanharith dismisses the reports, saying that those charges were based on newspapers articles and copied a number of local organizations' reports. He says that those criticisms have no bearings on the CPP's name, which on the other hand has indeed made this party politically benefited from the people.

The dominance in Cambodian politics of both the CPP and Prime Minister Hun Sen made respect for human rights to falter and led to widespread corruption, and it is no coincidence that human rights situation deteriorates.

This deterioration happened at a time when CPP increases its power, as shown in about 50 cases where deputy provincial governors held by the FUNCINPEC members were abolished with no known replacements. In 19 cases, 11 were replaced by the CPP members.

Licadho director Pung Chhiv Kek says that the report shows the ruling government's weak point, and that this government should remedy its faults.

Opposition Sam Rainsy party (SRP) legislator Keo Remy supports this report, saying high ranking and low ranking officials are from the CPP.

Prime Minister Hun Sen's CPP lately has been criticized by NGOs officials, after recent political nuance having severe effects on FUNCINPEC party's reforms, which is a party in the government alliance. Prince Norodom Ranariddh is FUNCINPEC party's President.

FUNCINPEC's adviser on public affairs Oak Socheat says that we cannot put the blame on Mr. Hun Sen consolidating power alone because we have amended the Constitution using 50 plus one formula, therefore the power is in the ruling party.