Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Assembly ‘does not care about’ Rainsy

Assembly ‘does not care about’ Rainsy

Assembly ‘does not care about’ Rainsy

The National Assembly will not hold an emergency session to debate whether opposition leader Sam Rainsy can be re-listed as a candidate for Sunday’s election, an official said.

Spokesman Chheang Vun called Rainsy’s Tuesday letter to National Assembly president Heng Samrin a “bother” and said the body was too busy campaigning to hold such a session.

“They do not care about Mr Sam Rainsy. They are thinking of their lawmaker seats; they have all gone to campaign,” he said.

A day after the National Election Committee rejected his letter asking that he be re-listed on the both the voter and candidate rolls, Rainsy called on Samrin to restore his status as a lawmaker and his immunity. In the letter, he argued that the Royal pardon, which overturned an 11-year prison sentence and paved the way for his return last week, effectively voided decisions made in light of his conviction.

Vun suggested Rainsy’s best bet would be to wait until after the elections, then ask a CNRP lawmaker to step down and take his seat. In October, he added, Rainsy can register as a voter.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann declined to address Vun’s suggestions, but stressed that the party still considered the continued rejections to be politically motivated and said that Rainsy yesterday had urged the Constitutional Council to consider the case.

“The CNRP cannot accept injustice in the election. We still have many choices; we are not hopeless. If one way cannot be resolved, we will find another one,” Sovann said. “An election that does not have the opposition party leader taking part is not free or just.”

Hang Puthea, director of election watchdog Nicfec, said the NEC decision appeared to hew to the law, but since Rainsy’s case was ultimately a political one, there should be a political solution.

“If there is a political negotiation, a conciliation may be possible.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,