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National Assembly rules shift advances

National Assembly rules shift advances

The National Assembly has moved forward with new legislation that would punish lawmakers for boycotting parliament or “insulting” other MPs, with one ruling Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker saying the new rules could see duly elected parliamentarians “fired” for serious breaches.

Speaking on Friday, CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said the additions to the assembly’s internal regulations, proposed last month by the ruling party, had been sent to the parliament’s Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Audits, which will cooperate with the legislature’s secretariat in analysing the changes.

According to a draft obtained last month, the amendments would see lawmakers’ pay docked for failing to fulfil parliamentary duties and for “insulting or looking down” on other parliamentarians.

Yeap said the rules would cover all MPs, but noted the Cambodia National Rescue Party would be penalised if it continued its boycott of parliament and the proposed changes.

He added that as a “last resort” with “serious violations”, National Assembly President Heng Samrin could request to dismiss lawmakers. “With these penalties, we do not propose anything besides what is stated in the Constitution, the [regulations governing] lawmakers and the internal regulations,” said Yeap, who was unreachable yesterday to clarify which breaches could lead to dismissals.

Reached yesterday, CNRP lawmaker Yem Ponhearith said the proposals were unnecessary and clearly intended to pressure the opposition party.

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