Cambodia’s detained opposition leader called for free and fair elections

FILE - In This Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, file photo, opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party Deputy President Kem Sokha gestures during a speech at the party headquarters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Kem has been formally charged Tuesday with treason for allegedly conspiring with the United States to topple the government, and could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)

Vastavam web: Cambodia’s detained opposition leader Kem Sokha called for free and fair elections in the Southeast Asian country in a New Year’s message on Monday.He is accused of trying to overthrow the government of strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen with American help and of espionage – charges he denies and says are politically motivated.

“Leave an opportunity for people to choose leadership representatives through an election that is free and fair,” Kem Sokha said, calling for national unity and non-violence to solve the political crisis.His message comes amid an ongoing crackdown by Cambodia’s government on critics, civil society groups and independent media that rights group say amounts to the destruction of democracy.“Leave an opportunity for people to choose leadership representatives through an election that is free and fair,” Kem Sokha said, calling for national unity and non-violence to solve the political crisis.

His message comes amid an ongoing crackdown by Cambodia’s government on critics, civil society groups and independent media that rights group say amounts to the destruction of democracy.