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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Opposition MP could still face court over petition: official

Yem Ponhearith (left) talks to an official from the royal palace late last month during the delivery of a CNRP petition.
Yem Ponhearith (left) talks to an official from the royal palace late last month during the delivery of a CNRP petition. Hong Menea

Opposition MP could still face court over petition: official

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak has again threatened to take legal action against the CNRP for irregularities found in a petition sent to King Norodom Sihamoni.

Sopheak, who declined to speak to the Post yesterday, told local media that the commission investigating allegedly forged thumbprints on the petition would submit a report to the government, and again suggested measures be taken against opposition lawmaker Yem Ponhearith.

“A lawmaker of the CNRP, Mr Yem Ponhearith, took fake thumbprints to deliver to the King,” he said. “I think the commission will ask the royal government to take legal action.”

The CNRP submitted the petition in late May asking the King to intervene in the escalating political situation, with an investigation ordered into the veracity of the more than 170,000 thumbprints soon after.

Sopheak said that in one instance, a single thumbprint had been discovered against 86 names on the petition. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the alleged fakes were an insult to the King, and warned foreign diplomats to not question his use of the judiciary in this case.

Reacting to the possibility of legal action, CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang rejected Sopheak’s assertion, adding that the government has never checked the authenticity of the many petitions it had received in the past.

“When there are petitions, the authorities should not examine the thumbprints, but they must focus on the content of the petition.”

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