The National Assembly has put a figure on the budget for parliamentary perks after they were recently restored to opposition deputy leader Kem Sokha, who was ousted as vice president of the assembly last year.
National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long said yesterday the parliament’s permanent committee has agreed in principle to a 720 million riel (roughly $180,000) budget item, which would cover minority and majority party lawmakers’ operating expenses.
A “modern” car for the leaders of both the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) is also included in the package, which is to be debated next month.
CNRP president Sam Rainsy has been in self-imposed exile since a warrant was issued for his arrest on what many consider to be politically motivated charges. Peng Long said acting CNRP president Sokha may use the CNRP’s car while Rainsy is out of the country.
CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith yesterday said the money was inadequate to cover monthly expenses. “We think we will debate this next week,” he said.
CPP spokesman Chheang Vun, however, insisted the amount was sufficient.