CAMBODIA has given a strong warning to Australia not to interfere in national elections next month despite calls that the ballot should not be registered.
Cambodia’s ruling party officials have told Australia, among the country’s largest donors, not to interfere in national elections on July 29, dismissing calls that the ballot should not be recognised.
“We don’t follow foreign orders,” Phay Siphan, a spokesman for Cambodia’s Council of Ministers, told the independent online news service Thmey Thmey.
Mr Siphan singled out comments by Julie Heckscher, first assistant secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Southeast Asia division, earlier this year regarding the elections that he said were not helpful and did not reflect the Australian government’s attitude to Cambodia.
“Besides, we have our own legislation and institutions,” he said, adding Cambodia would abide by its laws.
In March, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen was met by a storm of protests during an ASEAN summit in Sydney after he threatened to beat protesters if they burned his image.
Ms Heckscher was among his critics, telling a Senate committee in Canberra “that threats on Australian soil are not acceptable to the Australian government”.