Saturday, 18 November 2017
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Cambodia accused of 'killing off democracy' after opposition party dissolved by Supreme Court

Added: 18.11.2017 11:04 | 0 views | 0 comments

Cambodia has been accused of ‘killing off democracy’ after the country’s supreme court dissolved the opposition party and outlawed over 100 politicians ahead of a general election next year. Thursday's ruling to disband the Cambodia National Rescue Party, in a Southeast Asian country visited by about 159,000 Britons a year, was widely expected amid the worst crackdown on freedom and human rights in two decades. The government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, a firebrand former Khmer Rouge fighter who has held office for 32 years, had already accused the CNRP of plotting a US-backed revolution and jailed the party’s leader Kem Sokha in September. After a horrific genocide in the 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge under dictator Pol Pot killed 1-3 million, Cambodia has functioned nominally as a democracy since 1993. Analysts say the current repression reveals Hun Sen’s desire to cling to power after a surge in the CNRP’s popularity. “This is the end of democracy in Cambodia. We have not done anything wrong. We have fought for democracy. They have killed the will of more than three million people in Cambodia,” said CNRP spokesman, Yim Sovann, referring to the party’s recent support in June’s local elections. Deputy opposition leader Mu Sochua, 63, has been lobbying for international help since she was forced to flee her homeland in October, after being accused by Hun Sen of being an “urban terrorist.” She described the supreme court's decision as "a blow to democracy" but said it would not be fatal. "The democratic movement for change inside and outside Cambodia will be glued together stronger than ever," Ms Sochua said after the decision. Mu Sochua, deputy leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Credit: AP Ms Sochua met with British officials in London this week to shore up support for targeted sanctions on the regime. Britain is one of Cambodia’s most important trading partners, importing roughly $1 billion [£760m] worth of products in 2016. In an interview she told The Telegraph the party was anxious to see more action from the international community, "especially the UK", and hoped Thursday's decision would be seen as "a red line being crossed".  "You can let peace die, democracy die in Cambodia or you can take action to be accountable to your own taxpayers," Ms Sochua said. She added: “If the prime minister can go as far as dissolving the party that is the only competitor, I think Mr Hun Sen can do anything else, so the situation for democracy and for peace in Cambodia looks really bleak. Opposition leader Kem Sokha prays during a Buddhist ceremony in Phnom Penh Credit:  AP Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, called for Japan and the EU to immediately suspend all financial and technical electoral assistance for the 2018 election unless the CNRP was reinstated and permitted to compete. “The Supreme Court dissolution of the CNRP is the culmination of Hun Sen’s backdoor plan to ensure his victory in next year’s election,” Mr Robertson said. Champa Patel, head of the Asia programme at think-tank Chatham House, pointed out that the presiding judge in the case was a high-ranking member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and a close associate of the prime minister.   A Buddhist monk tries to enter a blocked street outside the supreme court on Thursday Credit: AP “The dissolution of the Cambodian opposition reflects how the courts in Cambodia have become tools serving government interests,” she said. “It is difficult to see how any proceedings can be seen as independent of vested interests.” The atmosphere of intimidation in Cambodia had already sparked international alarm, with Sweden threatening to revise its relations with Phomn Penh, and US Senator Ted Cruz threatening to push for a travel ban on top officials. Profile | Hun Sen  

Big donors threaten to bolt from Democrats — and that’s a good thing

Added: 18.11.2017 11:00 | 0 views | 0 comments

Megadonor Stephen Cloobeck says he'll quit if Dems don't back away from Sanders-Warren populism. Let him go!

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Democratic Candidates Are Hanging Roy Moore Around The Necks Of Their GOP Opponents

Added: 18.11.2017 6:13 | 1 views | 0 comments

WASHINGTON ― Democrats are seizing on the controversy surrounding Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in state and local races around the country, attacking GOP opponents over their stance regarding the former judge, who has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate advances by multiple women.

Bill Clinton Should Have Resigned After Monica Lewinsky Affair, Democratic Senator Says

Added: 18.11.2017 6:04 | 1 views | 0 comments

“I think that is the appropriate response," Gillibrand told the New York Times.

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Trump often condemns Democrats, defends Republicans on harassment allegations

Added: 18.11.2017 5:51 | 2 views | 0 comments

President Donald Trump's decision to mock Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., for groping a sleeping woman while posing for a photo has once again made him a central figure in the national discussion about sexual assault, harassment and misconduct - and has again brought attention to past accusations against...


Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

Added: 18.11.2017 5:02 | 2 views | 0 comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's been nearly six years since the Senate Ethics Committee conducted a major investigation of a sitting senator. Next year, the panel could be working nonstop, deciding the fate of up to three lawmakers, including two facing allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior. The typically secretive committee of three Republicans and three Democrats ...]

Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton - and divided Democrats

Added: 18.11.2017 3:02 | 1 views | 0 comments

A torrent of sexual abuse allegations against powerful figures in politics and media has reignited the defining political fight of the 1990s.
But this time, the battle is being waged within the ranks of Democrats and their allies, including leaders of the feminist movement. A growing number now...


WH: 'Big distinction' in Trump, Franken cases

Added: 18.11.2017 3:00 | 2 views | 0 comments

White House spokesman Sarah Sanders insists there's "a very big distinction" between the sexual assault allegations against President Trump and Democratic Sen. Al Franken, saying, 'Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn't.' (Nov. 17)


Trump takes aim at Al Franken but stays quiet about Roy Moore

Added: 18.11.2017 2:03 | 1 views | 0 comments

President Trump has tip-toed around Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, but Friday he dove tweet-first into the Al Franken sexual misconduct case. He attacked the democratic senator from Minnesota on Twitter, leading reporters to ask whether sexual misconduct allegations against Mr. Trump should be investigated as well. His spokeswoman responded, "Sen. Franken has admitted wrongdoing, the president hasn't." Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett has more.


President nominates Weiss for US attorney in Delaware

Added: 18.11.2017 1:06 | 2 views | 0 comments

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Donald Trump will nominate the acting U.S. attorney for Delaware, David Weiss, to take over the position permanently. Weiss' nomination needs the confirmation of the U.S. Senate. Delaware's senators, Democrats Tom Carper and Chris Coons, said Friday that they recommended Weiss to the White House for the job. Carper says ...]

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