Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Deadlock a non-issue: Sok An

Deadlock a non-issue: Sok An

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An (right) shakes hands with Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Yuji Kumamaru before a meeting at the Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh
Deputy Prime Minister Sok An (right) shakes hands with Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Yuji Kumamaru before a meeting at the Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh. PHA LINA

Deadlock a non-issue: Sok An

Just days before the planned mass demonstration by the opposition, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An took pains to assure foreign donors that there is no danger of deadlock.

In separate meetings with the Japanese and Australian ambassadors, Sok An insisted that parliament is on track to convene within 60 days of the July 28 vote – as mandated by the constitution.

“[He] assured them that in accordance with the law on the National Assembly and its internal regulations, and the Constitution of Cambodia, there are required to be only 63 parliamentarians for the first meeting for the formation of the National Assembly and the government,” spokesman for the Council of Ministers Ek Tha said following the meetings.

Though the constitution says the National Assembly is made up of at least 120 lawmakers and that 7/10ths of lawmakers are needed to approve the new government, Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior officials have maintained that they can open parliament without the opposition and have threatened to redistribute their seats if they boycott.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Tha said both ambassadors called for peaceful negotiations to resolve the post-election stalemate.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party on Monday announced its long-promised mass demonstration would be a peaceful ceremony involving “contemplation and prayer”. The party has been calling for a thorough investigation into electoral irregularities, which it claims would have seen it win 63 seats, instead of the 55 announced by the government the night of the election.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said he was “not interested” in Sok An’s comments regarding parliament’s formation, and were focusing on their Saturday protest.

But election monitors said the vagueness of the law’s wording was disconcerting and opened the door for the government to do as it threatened.

“So far, the interpretation of law on the quorum to convene the first meeting of the National Assembly has remained in dispute among legal experts of the CPP, CNRP and civil society,” Koul Panha, executive director of election watchdog Comfrel, said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and