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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SRP lawmakers threatened with lawsuits over criticism

SRP lawmakers threatened with lawsuits over criticism

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CPP warns it will file a complaint against any opposition MP who says the National Assembly is run by one man or party.

Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN

Nguon Nhel, vice president of the National Assembly, in this file photo. 

LAWMAKERS for the ruling Cambodian People's Party on Tuesday threatened to file a complaint against opposition lawmakers who claim that the National Assembly is controlled by the CPP or "one powerful man".

Nguon Nhel, first vice president of the National Assembly and a member of the CPP, said at a meeting to sign an extradition treaty with India that he would file a complaint against Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Yim Sovann and "other SRP parliamentarians" if they "continue to call the National Assembly the ‘dictated National Assembly' or ‘under the control of the CPP or one powerful man'".

"If you [Yim Sovann and other SRP's parliamentarians] say these things again, we will file a complaint to the court against all of you," he said.

The comments were a response to earlier criticism by the SRP that the ruling party's recent removal of opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua's immunity resembled policy under a dictatorship.

Speaking on the same day at the National Assembly, CPP parliamentarian Ai Khon also threatened the opposition with lawsuits, saying that the National Assembly was "one of three top national departments and an independent body that was in no way under the power of one man or any party".

"You [Yim Sovann] are one of the members of the parliament. Saying things like this means you look down on yourself and other parliamentarians," he said.

"If you say it again, we, CPP's parliamentarians, will file a complaint to the court against you soon with charges of slander or defamation."

SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann told the Post on Tuesday afternoon by phone that he will continue to say what he said again and again, even if he was seriously threatened by the members of parliamentary from the CPP.

 "We are speaking the truth ... and we will not be intimidated," he said.

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