Opening of Cambodian National Assembly

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 23, 2013

On September 23, Cambodian King Sihamoni presided over the opening of the new National Assembly and called for all elected lawmakers to show unity and work in the interest of the nation. The opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) did not participate in the event, in light of unresolved disputes over election results.

The United States has an interest in the democratic process, but does not support any particular political party or individuals. In that context, we continue to believe there should be a credible and transparent review of irregularities in the July elections to assess and address flaws in the electoral process and give the Cambodian people greater confidence in the electoral system. We urge all parties to seize this opportunity to improve democratic processes and implement meaningful reforms which strengthen the rule of law and increase respect for human rights.

The United States urges the leaders of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the CNRP to work together to resolve differences in a way that serves the best interests of the Cambodian people. We believe that a democratic and credible National Assembly must reflect the will of the people by including the meaningful participation of both major political parties. We call on the CPP and the CNRP to follow through on their September 16 statement denouncing violence, supporting electoral reform, and agreeing to resolve national problems through dialogue.

PRN: 2013/1172