Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP summonses pointless, says Banh

CNRP summonses pointless, says Banh

Defence Minister Tea Banh speaks at the National Defence University yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied
Defence Minister Tea Banh speaks at the National Defence University yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

CNRP summonses pointless, says Banh

Defence Minister Tea Banh, just a day after Prime Minister Hun Sen declared he would not have to testify before parliament, questioned the opposition’s intentions in summoning him at all yesterday, saying they never believed anything ministers told them.

On Wednesday, Hun Sen asked three of his ministers – Ith Samheng, Veng Sakhon and Bahn – to ignore any requests made by CNRP-led commissions to face questioning over activities in their respective ministries, saying the opposition party had forfeited their right to do so by skipping a vote to strip them of their minority party status.

Telling the ministers to ignore the summonses appeared to directly contradict the Constitution, which enshrines the right of parliamentary commissions to make such summonses.

Speaking yesterday during a speech at the National Defence University Bahn said that while the opposition felt a need to summon ministers, they never trusted anything presented to them.

“Until we say what they want [to hear], it will never be correct. Think about it. We respect the law, and they do not respect it,” he told a group of junior officers who had recently completed training.

Bahn added that the government had been given the “power to rule” by the Cambodian people, and wondered why the CNRP questioned their use of it.

“When we are given the power, we know how to use the power. If we cannot use it, then should we just throw it away?” he said.

The defence minister was being summoned by the CNRP after The Post reported that three Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit members convicted of savagely beating two lawmakers in 2015 had been promptly given promotions after their release from jail late last year.

Responding to criticism of the promotions, Bahn yesterday told his audience that the promotions were well within the laws governing the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

“The soldiers who fulfil their work and reach a specific time when they have to be promoted . . . anybody will be promoted and not only those bodyguards,” he said, repeating arguments made by a ministry spokesman recently.

Earlier in the day, Hun Sen elaborated on his slap-down of the opposition, saying two conditions had to be met before ministers would be made available for questioning that CNRP attends parliament regularly and that they accept the answers given by his ministers.

The National Assembly yesterday rubber-stamped the prime minister’s decision, releasing a statement confirming that lawmakers who did not attend parliament regularly would lose their power to summons ministers.

CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay yesterday said the party will now wait to see if the prime minister initiates any other procedural changes, but that they would continue to do their work in the meantime. “The CNRP continues to do its work as normal,” he said. “When we need to fulfil our obligation, we must go to fulfil it.”

MOST VIEWED

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested