Cambodia's foreign ministry says the U.S.-based National Democratic Institute must cease operations and remove its foreign staff from the country within a week.

The government accuses the organization of violating laws governing non-governmental organizations as well as tax regulations. The order Wednesday appears to be part of an ongoing effort to rein in media and other public watchdogs before next year's general election.

Other media and civil society organizations targeted for alleged tax delinquency in recent weeks include the English-language newspaper The Cambodia Daily; two U.S. government-funded radio stations Radio Free Asia and Voice of America; and several local human rights groups.

The Washington-based National Democratic Institute is engaged in promoting democracy and strengthening institutions worldwide.