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More parties to accept seats

Khmer Economic Development Party leader Huon Reach Chamroeun (right), seen debating the CNRP’s Kem Sokha (centre) and CPP’s Sok Eysan (left) in 2013, has said his party will accept the CNRP’s seats in parliament if it is dissolved.

Two more minor parties have come forward saying they will take up National Assembly seats that will be dished out if the Cambodia National Rescue Party is dissolved, amid accusations from other dissenting parties that accepting the seats makes them complicit in undermining the country’s democracy. The Cambodian Nationality Party (CNP) and the Khmer Economic Development Party (KEDP) – which between them won less than 1 percent of the popular vote but are now likely to occupy three parliamentary seats – confirmed they would accept the positions after the government swiftly passed laws on Monday allowing the redistribution of CNRP seats to minor parties.

Kingdom’s UN ambassador brushes off body’s criticism

Permanent Representative of Cambodia to the UN Ney Samol (centre) speaks at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council last month in Geneva.

Cambodia’s permanent mission to the United Nations has rebutted international criticism regarding the government’s mounting steps to dissolve the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, claiming the condemnation was based on misinformation and biased. The National Assembly this week approved amendments to four election laws that would distribute National Assembly seats currently belonging to the CNRP to other minor parties – and its local commune chief seats entirely to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party – should the party be dissolved. The mission’s statement, published Monday evening, alleges that the UN’s Office ...

Tea Banh attacks US, says troops prepared

Defence Minister Tea Banh speaks to officials on Monday at the Defence Ministry in Phnom Penh.

Defence Minister Tea Banh yesterday portrayed his forces as prepared for a David-and-Goliath-style showdown with the US, which he blamed for sowing unrest around the world, and whose purported “colour revolution” in the Kingdom he vowed to quash. The comments doubled down on the ongoing government broadside against the US for allegedly helping opposition leader Kem Sokha attempt to topple the government – an accusation seemingly based on a 2013 video in which Sokha describes receiving advice from the US, and for which the CNRP president is currently jailed on widely condemned charges of “treason”.

Bar members bemoan low payment for pro bono work

Attorneys from across the Kingdom attend the Bar Association congress yesterday in Phnom Penh.

The Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) yesterday said it would receive around $222,000 to provide pro bono services to poorer defendants in 2018, though many members said the influx of cash – while an increase – was still not enough to defend the thousands of clients bar members are charged with representing each year. The announcement came from Soun Visal, the association’s president, at the body’s 22nd annual congress, with the BAKC head saying the government-allocated pro bono budget had been increased from $148,000 and as many as 200 lawyers were signed up to provide such services. According to Visal, the BAKC had represented clients ...

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