The opposition yesterday issued a statement saying it would not take legal responsibility for any remarks or activities from individuals that violate changes to the Political Parties Law unless they are approved by one of the party’s official organs.
The changes, which came into force last month, ban parties from “conspiring” with convicted criminals or using their image, voice or written materials to their benefit, and were expressly introduced to sideline former opposition leader Sam Rainsy from politics.
The Cambodia National Rescue Party’s statement says only decisions made or approved by senior members at its annual congresses or its national council, permanent committee or central committee should be held to account under the changes.
The changes allow the courts to dissolve any party that violates the bans, and CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the statement was meant to make clear if any party member “wants to express something, that’s their business, and is not an expression of the party”.
However, Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Suos Yara said that “only the courts” could decide how the law applies in the event of an alleged breach.