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US Cuts Funding to National Election Committee After Opposition Dissolved

A Screenshot of the full White House statement reacts to dissolution of Cambodian opposition CNRP. The statement issued on November 16, 2017, hours after supreme court made decision in favour of the ruling's CPP. (Web Screenshot)

The US government responded to the Supreme Court's dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party on Thursday by announcing it would cut off funding to the National Election Committee (NEC), one of the first concrete responses by a donor nation to the ongoing political crackdown in Cambodia.

In a statement issued by the White House Press Secretary, the US expressed "grave concern" over the opposition party's dissolution and said it seemed unlikely that elections scheduled for next year could possibly be free or fair under the circumstances. Calling the allegations against the CNRP "meritless and politicized," the US also called on the Cambodian government to undo the decision, release opposition leader Kem Sokha from prison, and allow journalists and members of civil society to do their work freely.

The US announced in April that it would allocate $1.8 million to the NEC over the course of two years to help improve the country's electoral system.