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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lawmakers’ letter prompts ire in NA

Lawmakers’ letter prompts ire in NA

The National Assembly’s legal council is considering action against opposition lawmaker Un Sam An after he accused Assembly President Heng Samrin of failing to respect the constitution, according to a ruling party lawmaker.

Sam An took to Facebook to criticise Samrin for refusing to forward a letter from opposition lawmakers to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting he halt the demarcation process with Vietnam until after the 2018 elections.

The Cambodian National Rescue Party lawmaker, of late the most outspoken voice on the Vietnam border issue, also announced he would complain to the Constitutional Council.

Speaking yesterday, Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Chheang Vun said Samrin had requested the parliament’s legal council to examine Sam An’s comments and consider what measures to take.

He called on Sam An to withdraw his remarks, which he said impugned Samrin’s honour.

“I insist that Mr Um Sam An resolve this problem with Samdech President [Heng Samrin] so that the issue will not become bigger,” Vun said.

“We have some concerns that both parties’ leaders are meeting in families and strengthening the culture of dialogue … but at the same time a group of lawmakers from the CNRP keep making trouble,” he said, referring to a recent dinner between Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who are enjoying a political detente.

Vun said Samrin declined to pass on the July 6 letter – which also asked for details about land exchanges with Vietnam – because it would have “interfered” in the government’s work.

Responding to Sam An’s letter, Samrin said the border committee was responsible for demarcation and should be permitted to perform their duty.

This, however, Sam An denied. “If [Heng Samrin] passed our letter to the government, there will be no matter at all,” he said, adding that he was gathering the required 13 lawmakers needed to lodge a complaint against Heng Samrin at the Constitutional Court.

The opposition plans to return to the contested border area in Svay Rieng tomorrow with more than 100 people.

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