Cambodia’s top police officer has said that the dissolution of the country’s main opposition party was a major success for the force last year.
Neth Savoeun, who is married to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s niece, told an annual security conference on Tuesday that the police had served as the vanguard of the government’s crackdown on dissent.
He said the police had played a crucial role in gathering and analyzing evidence against the country’s main opposition party, which was dissolved in a Supreme Court ruling late last year.
“We have served the Supreme Court to search and gather documents and evidence to end the opposition attempt at toppling the government through a color revolution, which is against democracy in Cambodia,” he said.
He added that the police would continue to work to prevent any future attempts to overthrow Hun Sen’s regime.
“We will be investigating and gathering information to prevent any new attempt that could destroy peace, unity, within the nation, especially in this national election year,” he said.
Cambodians are due to go to the polls later this year in what is set to be a tense general election with no viable opposition party to vote for.
Also speaking at the ceremony with Savoeun, Sar Kheng, the interior minister, ordered the police to monitor the activities of the Cambodia National Rescue Movement, an offshoot of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party, formed by a former CNRP president, Sam Rainsy, and labeled a terrorist organization by the leadership of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
Senior CNRP officials could not be reached for comment.
Meas Ny, a political analyst, said Savoeun’s comments reflected the close relationship between the CPP leadership and the force.
“What the National Police has announced means that they are working for the ruling party and they are not working to bring the justice to society, especially to those three million citizens who no longer have a choice [in the election].”