Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Opposition Assembly boycott threatens govt formation: officials

Opposition Assembly boycott threatens govt formation: officials

Opposition Assembly boycott threatens govt formation: officials

Dissident politicians risk losing their seats in parliament if they

refuse to attend the NA’s swearing in ceremony next month, govt warns

Heng Chivoan

Sam Rainsy protests the deletion of voters’ names from the election registration rolls.

Politicians have warned that a threatened

boycott by opposition lawmakers of the swearing-in of Cambodia’s new

National Assembly could deadlock the government, as ruling party

officials insisted that dissidents risked losing their parliamentary

seats if they failed to show up at next month’s ceremony.

“A

boycott will cause political deadlock regarding the formation of the

new National Assembly,” said Monh Saphan, a parliamentarian with

Funcinpec, the former coalition government partner of the ruling

Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).

But others, including the

Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP), headed by one-time Funcinpec president

Prince Norodom Ranariddh, said a boycott was the most effective way to

protest alleged vote-rigging in the July 27 general election.

“We

will use our one voice to boycott the ceremony,” said NRP spokesman

Muth Chantha on Monday. “We are all sitting in one boat and will row it

together.”

Minister of Information and CPP spokesman Khieu

Kanharith said any parliamentarian not at the September 24 swearing in

would be stripped of his or her seat. The vacant seats would be divided

among the parties that did attend, he said, adding that “the CPP stands

to gain 15 more seats.

The constitution requires that at least 120 of the Assembly’s 123 seats are filled for the first session.

SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann said the opposition was collecting evidence of vote fraud to take to election officials.

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