Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minor party head calls on King to change law



Minor party head calls on King to change law

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CNJP president Heang Rithy, at an event last month in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Minor party head calls on King to change law

The leader of a minor party has appealed to King Norodom Sihamoni to intervene and change widely panned amendments to the country’s Political Parties Law, which are expected to be forwarded to him after passing the Senate today.

The amendments to the Law on Political Parties passed the National Assembly last week, and Cambodian National Justice Party president Heang Rithy yesterday sent letters to the Senate and the King requesting changes to the most controversial parts – Article 6 and Article 38.

The first forbids parties, in vague terms, from “inciting to break up national unity” and “affecting the security of the state”, while the second gives powers to the Ministry of Interior to file complaints to the Supreme Court if it deems a party has committed a serious offence – including a party leader being convicted of a crime. The court can then rapidly dissolve the party in question.

The amendments are widely believed to be aimed at the Cambodia National Rescue Party, whose members have frequently been at the centre of legally questionable cases.

Rithy – whose party has no seats in parliament, and recently agreed to cooperate with Nhek Bun Chhay’s Khmer National United Party in upcoming elections – said he penned the letters because the ruling party was using the law to “concentrate their power”.

“I must lobby and advocate for this, or in the future, in Cambodia, it will be an absolutist regime,” he said.

The amendments must be signed by the King before they come into effect, and King Sihamoni – who has preferred to steer clear of politics – has never before moved to block a law’s passage or seek its amendment.

Still, Rithy said he was hopeful the King would intervene. CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua, who has herself been tried in cases believed to be politically motived, said her party had not yet decided if they too would appeal to the King.

“We have sought His Majesty’s intervention in the past when we believed that national unity and citizens’ rights are at stake,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a