After months of boycotting the National Assembly, the Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmakers will join an Assembly plenary session on November 20, opposition chief whip Son Chhay said yesterday.
Chhay stopped short of announcing an end to the boycott – instituted in May as a protest against alleged state-backed legal harassment of the party – but said the meeting’s agenda, which will cover the 2017 budget, demanded the CNRP’s input.
“Generally, we will have a look at agendas,” Chhay said, discussing the party’s selective boycott approach, which he said will prioritise “important” issues.
The party had vowed to attend a plenary session in October, but pulled out at the last minute citing safety concerns.
At the time, insiders told the Post that Prime Minister Hun Sen had allegedly sent text messages to CNRP leader Kem Sokha threatening “bloodshed” in response to planned protests in Australia against his son, Hun Manet.
Chhay said the party would now move to summon six ministers to the parliament to answer questions about problems within their portfolios, including the ministers for defence, justice, health, agriculture, mines and energy and the interior.
“We want to have questioning [of ministers] every week,” Chhay said, adding that he had already prepared questions.
Noting the Cambodian People’s Party majority, ruling party spokesman Sok Eysan said the CNRP’s attendance was irrelevant. “If they join or don’t join, it’s their business,” he said.