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In view of the decision by the Cambodian Supreme Court on 16 November to order the dissolution of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), the European Commission has decided to suspend its assistance to the National Election Committee.
The European Union was glad to support the electoral process that led to Cambodia's commune/sangkat elections on 4 June 2017, which were widely recognised as having been professionally run by the National Election Committee and as having reached high standards of transparency and credibility. The high voter turnout was a signal of confidence in the electoral system, and the outcome of the elections has been seen as reflecting the will of the voters.
Since then, however, a series of actions has been taken by the authorities against the main opposition party, which won 44.5% of the vote in the 2013 legislative election and 43.8% in the 2017 local election. The decision to dissolve the CNRP, and the subsequent reallocation of its National Assembly and commune/sangkat council seats to other parties denies the choice of those who voted for the party in the elections in 2013 and 2017.
The dissolution of the CNRP also means that it will not be able to run in the National Assembly election in 2018. An electoral process from which the main opposition party has been arbitrarily excluded cannot be seen as legitimate.