Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bar council election cancelled

Bar council election cancelled

Bar council election cancelled

Despite three secret meetings between rival presidential candidates, the Cambodian

Bar Association (CBA) cancelled the election of CBA council members scheduled for

October 16.

The election of the 19 council members is held every three years, but 12 of the current

members requested that a vote for president be held at the same session, in an effort

to end a year-long dispute over the leadership.

The request was sent to incumbent president Ky Tech on September 15, said Sa Sovan,

who said he represents 12 of the CBA council members. The request also urged Tech

to drop charges of forgery filed against Suon Visal, whose election to the presidency

in October 2004 was disputed by Tech.

Ly Tayseng, acting secretary general of the CBA, rejected the request to elect both

the council and president on the same day, saying it would be against CBA bylaws.

Tayseng said the CBA council election is held every three years, and the elected

members then vote for a president every two years.

He said he had written twice to invite current bar council members during September

to begin campaigning for re-election, but some failed to respond.

"They did not explain the reason why they did not attend," Tayseng said.

However, CBA council member Chiv Songhak said he had not received an invitation letter

calling on him to campaign for re-election.

Tech said he did not support the dual vote because his court case against Visal was

still pending and the ruling could affect the outcome of a vote for president.

Three secret meetings had come to nothing, Tech said, because Visal insisted that

forgery charges against him be dropped. The charges stem from Visal's use of a new

CBA stamp and stationery.

He accused supporters of Visal of boycotting the elections.

"Their absence shows they don't have the will to organize an election,"

Tech said.

However, Visal said council members did not consider Tech the legitimate president

and so did not attend meetings called by him.

"What he [Tech] said is just a trick, he always rejects our proposals. Half

of the Bar's body has now died but it is not my fault," Visal said, referring

to the factional split and lack of CBA activities over the past year.

Emi Aizawa, assistant resident representative of the Japanese International Cooperation

Agency (JICA), regretted that the Cambodian Bar Association was unable to resolve

the spat, but said JICA had recently agreed to provide three months funding to the

Lawyers Training Center, an offshoot of the CBA.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong