Opposition lawmakers plan to boycott a National Assembly session next week where the new – and disputed – composition of the country’s nine-member election committee is up for approval.
At the session, scheduled for next Thursday, October 11, lawmakers will decide whether to approve new appointments to the National Election Committee, whose make-up opposition lawmakers and activists have long criticised for its slant toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
Cheam Yeap, CPP senior lawmaker, told the Post yesterday that of the nine names on the list, both Im Suosdey and Sin Chum Bo, the current NEC president and deputy president, respectively, are included.
As for the rest of the seven slots, Yeap confirmed that Sor Suphary, the former president of Phnom Penh Municipal Court, is a new name on the list. The remaining ones are current members Som Chandina and Mao Sophearith.
Yeap did not provide any other names.
Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, which proposes the list, could not be reached for comment.
Opposition Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovann threatened a boycott of the session, claiming the ministry made no effort to field candidates from a wider political spectrum.
“We will not participate in this meeting as long as [the ruling party] does not sit and debate to find internal unity to support NEC candidates,” he said.
In other signs of the lead-up to the national election in 2013, Sam Rainsy, self-exiled in France, resigned from his eponymous party on Tuesday.
The resignation suggests Rainsy is prepping for his return to the country as the head of the new Cambodia National Rescue Party.
To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]