Cambodia's Senate is expected to rubber-stamp two controversial pieces of election legislation that passed without debate at the National Assembly last week, clearing the way for the King’s signature and their official status as law.
The laws have been heavily criticised by civil society for language banning the “insulting” of political parties or candidates by NGOs, a move they see as an attempt to muzzle free political speech, and a shortening of the window for campaigning.
Opposition Sam Rainsy Party Senator You Seang Heng yesterday said that senators in the opposition would enthusiastically pass the laws, which were drafted by working groups of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodia National Rescue Party.
“We will not boycott, and plan to pass the laws as quickly as possible,” Seang Heng told the Post yesterday. “We hope that the two laws will be put into effect once they are signed by the King [Norodom Sihamoni].”
If the Senate passes the legislation as expected, it will be sent to King Sihamoni for final approval before the end of the month.