Cambodian leader imposes deadline on lifting political bans

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned opposition politicians that they should act quickly if they want bans on their political activity lifted because he will end the opportunity in mid-April.

Hun Sen said Monday he will not negotiate with the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party to lift the ban on all 118 of its former lawmakers, and that each will have to apply individually.

The five-year ban was imposed when the party was dissolved by court order in November 2017 on a charge of conspiring with the United States to overthrow the government.

A new law in December allowed the politicians to apply to have the bans lifted. The move was an effort to mollify Western nations that accuse Hun Sen of suppressing human and democratic rights.