NDI’s Foreign Staff Expelled from Cambodia in Seven Days

The Royal Government of Cambodia decided this morning to stop the operation of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Cambodia and to expel its foreign staff from the Kingdom within seven days after official notification of the decision, according to a press release of the Ministry of foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFA-IC).

This decision was made after the Cambodian competent authorities conducted thorough consideration and discussion in their successive meetings, it added.

In order to shed light on this decision making, the MFA-IC explained that the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations was adopted by the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia on July 13, 2015 and promulgated by His Majesty the King on Aug. 12, 2015. Since this law came into force in August 2015, NDI has operated in Cambodia without being registered with the MFA-IC until the organisation filed a request for the registration on June 21, 2016. Pending the ministry's decision on its application, NDI has continued carrying out its activities with total contempt.

Article 34 of the Law on the Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations provides that: The competent authorities shall take measures to immediately stop any foreign association or non-governmental organisation that conducts its activities without registration or which validity of memorandum of understanding is terminated by the MFA-IC, it said, stressing that additional measures related to the expulsion under the law on immigration may be undertaken against any foreigner who works for a foreign association or non-governmental organisation for committing the above offense regardless other criminal punishments.

Besides, it continued, Article 101 of the Law on Taxation provides that A person must register with the tax administration within 15 days after the person begins economic activities, and Articles 128 and 129 of this law stipulate that in the case where the person fails to register with the tax administration is considered obstructing the implementation of tax provisions and a person who has obstructed the administration of tax system as provided in Article 128 of this law shall have committed a criminal violation of tax provisions respectively.

Moreover, it added, the Ministry of Economy and Finance's General Department of Taxation has explained in detail about this law and the measures taken by the General Department for its enforcement in its clarification issued on Aug. 16, 2017.

NDI has so far failed to comply with the above-referred legislations, it underlined.

MFA-IC emphasised that while this decision has been made with NDI and its foreign staff, the competent authorities are geared up to take the same measures against any foreign association or non-governmental organisation that fails to abide by the Law on the Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations as well as other laws of Cambodia.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press