Boycott ban added to draft election law

Boycott ban added to draft election law

The ruling and opposition parties have agreed to add a provision to a new draft election law that would seek to prevent any party that wins seats in the National Assembly being able to boycott parliament, a senior opposition lawmaker confirmed Thursday.

But the wording of the law, as leaked to local media, still appears to leave open the possibility of the kind of boycott the CNRP launched in the aftermath of the 2013 poll after claiming the election had been rigged.

The draft law states that parties can be stripped of their seats if they boycott the first session of parliament, the swearing-in of lawmakers or when the assembly declares their validity, but only if the election has been “free, fair and just”.

The law says this would be judged according to the Constitution, the law on the Constitutional Council, the National Election Committee law and the election law.

Senior CNRP lawmaker and election reform negotiator Eng Chhay Eang confirmed the provision.

“If the election is not free, fair or just, [any party] that does not join parliament but has their seats taken, it would not be good,” he said.

“[We] would not be able to take their seats for re-distribution.”

The decision of the two parties comes after Prime Minister Hun Sen last month explicitly called on working groups drafting amendments to the election law to include a provision that would prevent parliamentary boycotts.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy also announced Thursday morning that the two parties had agreed to pass the new NEC law and amended election law in the National Assembly by the end of this month.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty