Amid mounting international criticism of the National Assembly’s recent passage of a controversial new law regulating NGOs, 11 Sam Rainsy Party senators announced yesterday they will take a page from the CNRP playbook and also boycott the upcoming vote on the bill.
In a letter sent by ranking SRP senator Kong Koam, dated July 16, the party argues that the nation’s NGOs have faithfully followed the nation’s constitution, making the law unnecessary, adding that it would in fact cripple government effectiveness and infringe on needed services.
“If the Senate still includes this law into its agenda . . . members of the Sam Rainsy Party will not participate,” Koam said. “
The revelation of the planned boycott accompanied the release of a statement yesterday from UN human rights Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai, who called on the Senate to reject a law that could “shut down and criminalise” groups advocating for “basic freedoms and good governance”.
Senate spokesman, Morm Bunneang, said he had not received Koam’s letter.