FRENCH government officials have expressed concerns about the suspension of the parliamentary immunity of lawmakers from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, according to a statement issued by the party on Thursday.
During a debate in France’s National Assembly on Thursday, the statement said, Foreign Affairs State Secretary Pierre Lellouche said that his
nation “deplored” decisions stripping parliamentary immunity from SRP lawmakers Sam Rainsy, Mu Sochua and Ho Vann in 2009.
“We cannot accept these practices, which pertain to intimidation,” Lellouche said in response to a question from Chantal Brunel, chairwoman of the France-Cambodia Friendship Group at the Assembly. He added that the French government will continue to pay “close attention” and “actively follow” the situation facing the opposition in Cambodia.
When contacted on Thursday, Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said the French lawmakers clearly did not know the full story behind the suspension of the lawmakers’ immunity.
“We respect if there is a concern about this situation, but for me and for the government, those [French] parliamentarians should come and learn exactly what is involved,” he said, adding that the actions had been taken in accordance with the government’s commitment to the rule of law.
“We have to implement the rule of law,” he added.
“Everybody is under one law together.”