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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SRP lawmaker barred from forum, protests opposition exclusion

SRP lawmaker barred from forum, protests opposition exclusion

SRP lawmaker barred from forum, protests opposition exclusion

090206_03_2.jpg
090206_03_2.jpg

During his keynote address at third Cambodia Economic Forum, Prime Minister Hun Sen decries Mu Sochua's attempt to enter.

Photo by:

TRACEY SHELTON 

Mu Sochua and the German Ambassador struggle to get the SRP lawmaker into the conference Thursday.

OPPOSITION Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Mu Sochua was prevented from attending the third Cambodia Economic Forum, which was held Thursday at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal and featured a keynote address by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Mu Sochua showed up at the conference venue and approached the door but was prevented from entering by bodyguards, she said at a press conference after the incident.

At the press conference, she told reporters that all leaders need to be involved in addressing the global financial crisis. The forum, attended by members of the ruling Cambodian People's Party and international donor organisations, was titled "Increasing Cambodia's Competitiveness for Growth and Poverty Reduction in the Face of Global Economic Crisis".

"Prohibiting me from joining the forum showed that the government wants to lead our nation alone," she said. "But allowing the government to lead alone will lead to a social, political and economic crisis."

Requests ignored

She said SRP officials had addressed a letter to the Supreme National Economic Council requesting permission to attend the forum, but that the letter had gone unanswered. SRP President Sam Rainsy wrote a letter Tuesday to the UN Development Program also requesting an invitation.

Mu Sochua said governments in other countries had enlisted opposition parties and other public- and private-sector leaders to cope with the economic downturn.

"We are leaders," she said. "All leaders must have responsibility. I am a minority parliamentarian who is a participant, listener and observer."

Hun Sen said during his speech that opposition leaders should not have shown up at the forum without invitations, calling their actions an

affront to "government discipline".

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