>U.S Ambassador Concerned That Hor Namhong’s Law Suit Against Sam Rainsy Might Affect The Election

>Mr. Joseph Mussomeli, U.S Ambassador to Cambodia.
7th May, 2008
Everyday.com.kh
Translated by Khmerization

The U.S ambassador to Cambodia on the 6th of May has expressed his concerns that Foreign Minister Hor Namhong’s law suit against opposition leader, Mr. Sam Rainsy, will affect the upcoming election, while the Cambodian court is working actively to speed up this case.
During an interview with reporters on the morning of Tuesday (6th May), during a distribution ceremony of vitamin supplement to children in Baray district in Kampong Thom province, the ambassador, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli said: “I am very concerned that it might affect the election, but I am hopeful that will not.”
The ambassador added that it would be regrettable if the charge of defaming and disseminating false information will affect the democratic process.
The ambassador expressed his personal view that, in principle, charge of defamation and disseminating false information should not be a criminal offence. It should be a civil offence.
The ambassador is more concerned when he heard that lawyer for Mr. Hor Namhong, Mr. Ka Savuth, has rushed to talk to the court before he was summoned. Mr Ka Savuth went to talk to the court on the 2nd of May, three days before the court’s summon. As for Mr. Sam Rainsy, the court has issued a summon for him to appear on the 22nd of May.
Other than commenting on Mr. Hor Namhong’s law suit against Mr. Sam Rainsy, the ambassador has also revealed that he had a series of meetings with many political parties, including the Cambodian People’s Party, Funcinpec Party, Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Right Party, on issues in related to the upcoming election.
The ambassador said: “We have good relations with all the political parties. We do not support any parties in particular and we do not mind which party wins the election. But we hope that the winning party should win in a free and fair election.”
The ambassador said that, in general in Cambodia, just before every election, there are always some political issues which are unavoidable. Not only in Cambodia, in the United States or other countries, the people are always focussed on the election and forget about their other daily issues.
Up until today, there is no one incident of political violence that has been committed in relation to the election. The ambassador thinks that the electoral process has been running smooth. Currently, the embassy is monitoring the election process very closely to make sure that there is no intimidation, no harassment, no violence and no coercion.
The ambassador hopes that there will be no political intimidation and he also hopes that the election will be conducted in a free and fair manner. The ambassador said that he will send election observers to monitor the election throughout the country. //
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