Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered authorities to investigate The Situation Room, a consortium of NGOs who voiced criticism of this month’s commune elections, for allegedly violating the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO) and fomenting a*“color revolution.”
Speaking at the CPP’s 66th anniversary celebrations on Koh Pich in Phnom Penh, the prime minister ordered Interior Minister Sar Kheng to investigation the Situation Room’s legal status under LANGO.
Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, takes questions about Sunday’s commune elections at a news conference in Phnom Penh earlier this month (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
“One issue that needs to be solved is–what is the Situation Room?” he asked. “In a few days, they made the election results cloudy. Did the Situation Room register with the Ministry of Interior?”
“Do they have a right to create a base like this?” he asked of the group’s election monitoring headquarters. “It is the base for the principles of the color revolution.”
Sotheara Yoeurng, the law and monitoring officer at the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, an NGO participating in the consortium, declined to comment on Mr. Hun Sen’s comments.
“We plan to have an urgent meeting,” he said. “We cannot comment now.”
In a statement released on Saturday, the group was largely positive about the vote itself but said “significant irregularities” prior to the election meant that “elections in Cambodia cannot yet be considered free and fair.”
The group cited political suppression against the opposition, threats of violence from ruling party leaders, biased courts, and unequal media allotment as undermining the quality of the election.
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