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CNRP may sit out rules change

Kem Sokha speaks at the office of the Cambodia National Rescue Party in Phnom Penh last year.
Kem Sokha speaks at the office of the Cambodia National Rescue Party in Phnom Penh last year. Heng Chivoan

CNRP may sit out rules change

Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmakers are considering boycotting next week’s extraordinary plenary session vote to strip away their role as the National Assembly’s minority group, saying the ruling party-backed proposal highlight’s the parliament’s weakness.

The party’s stance came after a meeting of the National Assembly’s permanent standing committee yesterday, which formally set Tuesday for a session to amend Article 48 of the parliament’s internal regulations.

The change, proposed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, will strip CNRP acting president Kem Sokha of his title of “minority” leader in the parliament.

Speaking after the meeting, Ho Vann, the only CNRP lawmaker to attend, said the decision to go forward with the meeting was regrettable, adding the party would consider boycotting the vote.

“It will be difficult for us to go to the meeting,” Vann said.

“I told the committee that this shows the weakness of our parliament. The mechanism was created not yet two years ago, and now [it will be] cancelled.”

Meanwhile, the premier’s lawyer yesterday appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court to submit further evidence for a defamation case against exiled CNRP President Sam Rainsy.

The case concerns comments suggesting the premier bribed social media personality Thy Sovantha $1 million to undermine the opposition.

Hun Sen’s lawyer Ky Tech said he produced pictures and audio from Facebook for the court.

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