Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today joined with his colleagues Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD-05), Rep. Ed Royce (CA-39), and Rep. Ted Yoho (FL-03) to lead the successful bipartisan passage of legislation which will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for undermining democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.
Entitled the Cambodian Democracy Act of 2018, H.R.5754 would freeze all assets in the United States, restrict all financial transactions with the U.S., and deny entry to the U.S., of senior Cambodian government, military, and security force officials whom the President of the United States determines has “directly and substantially undermined democracy in Cambodia.”
“The regime of Prime Minister Hun Sen has done everything in its power to destroy any hope of democracy in Cambodia,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “The Cambodian people were promised free and fair elections, but instead, this weekend’s contest will be a sham perpetrated by Hun Sen to further extend his control of Cambodia. The Prime Minister’s descent into authoritarianism will not go unchecked. This bill puts force to our warnings and makes it clear we will not stand by and quietly let this happen. These sanctions are the price Hun Sen and his regime must pay for their assault on the freedom of the Cambodian people.”
The sanctions and travel restrictions would go into effect within 180 days of the bill being signed into law by the President.
The passage in the House of the legislation comes just days before a national general election is scheduled to take place in Cambodia. The main opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), which secured nearly 50 percent of the vote in the last general election in 2013, was dissolved by Cambodia’s court controlled by the Hun Sen regime earlier this year.