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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Opposition complaints irk premier

Opposition complaints irk premier

Hun Sen warns Sam Rainsy lawmakers their seats at risk

PRIME Minister Hun Sen has threatened to expel Sam Rainsy Party lawmakers from the National Assembly if they continue accusing him of backing out of an agreement to formally recognise the role of the political opposition.

Hun Sen had earlier said parliamentary rules would be modified to accommodate the Sam Rainsy Party, in exchange for their last-minute promise to attend the swearing-in of the new National Assembly.

The opposition was threatening to boycott the ceremony - a move that could have delayed the formation of the new government following July's general elections - over alleged vote irregularities.

"Hun Sen did not cheat you to come to the [inauguration]. Whether you want to come or not is your right," he said during the opening of a Korean ethanol factory in Kandal province Monday, warning the SRP lawmakers that they "do not yet have parliamentary immunity" and could lose their seats.

Hun Sen also blasted the opposition over its request to share power in the National Assembly and its nine special commissions.

"Do not expect to get seats as deputy president or chairman on the commissions," Hun Sen said.

"The more you act rude, the less chance [positions] will be offered."

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said the Assembly's commissions had already been determined.

"It is too late now for the SRP," he told the Post Monday. "We have invited them to join us, but they refused."

SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann said he was not surprised about the prime minister's warning.

"I think that the threat against opposition representatives indicates that the ruling CPP is moving backward towards dictatorship," Yim Sovann said.

"It is the responsibility of the CPP to improve good governance."

The CPP overwhelmingly won the July vote.



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