Liberal International

LI President to EU: 'guarantee safety' for returning Opposition leader

Liberal International , donderdag 11 juli 2013

LI President, Hans van Baalen MEP, has acted on the news that Cambodia’s exiled Opposition leader, Sam Rainsy (Sam Rainsy Party – LI Full Member), has decided to return home to contest the Presidential elections.

Van Baalen, called for civil and political rights to be restored to Rainsy and, exercising his right as an MEP, put questions to the EU authorities. He asked the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Baroness Catherine Ashton, of her opinion on the decision taken by Sam Rainsy to return to Cambodia and contest the elections. The LI President requested that Ashton take steps to guarantee the safety and security of Sam Rainsy and consider what sanctions she would be willing to impose if the Cambodian authorities do not allow him to participate in the elections without interference or obstruction.

Han ten Broeke MP (VVD - LI Full Member), has called on the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs in the National Assembly to commit himself to ensure that the politically motivated charges against Sam Rainsy are withdrawn and to ensure that Mr Rainsy is able to contest the elections at the end of July. Ten Broeke reminded the Minster that the obligations set out in the Paris Peace Accords are currently being insufficiently observed – in particular Sam Rainsy’s right to freedom of expression. Han ten Broeke asked the Minister how he would honour this commitment.

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Secretary General, Anders B. Johnsson, has stressed his concern that at the end of this month Cambodians will be asked to cast their vote without being able to do so in support of the leader of the opposition. Mr Johnsson said: “A political solution must be found to enable Sam Rainsy to return to Cambodia to make a meaningful contribution to the political process and the forthcoming elections. If he is not allowed to take part in the elections, then he should at least be able to contribute to the political process as a free man”.