The royalist Funcinpec party and the Cambodian Youth Party (CYP) have separately announced plans to file lawsuits to the Supreme Court to dissolve the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party over charges against leader Kem Sokha of treason.
“The decision behind the complaint is that the CNRP’s leader, Kem Sokha, committed treason,” read a letter released by the CYP yesterday.
Funcinpec, meanwhile, said Sokha and the CNRP had attempted to “topple the royal government”.
“Funcinpec will file a lawsuit to the Supreme Court, requesting to dissolve CNRP in accordance with principle of rule of law and to comply with new Article 6, Article 7 and new Article 44 of the Political Parties Law,” a statement said.
Article 6 of the highly contentious law bans “incitement that would lead to national distintegration”, Article 7 prohibits parties from being “under command” of foreign governments and Article 44 gives the court authority to dissolve offending political parties.
Despite the timing, Sros insisted that the lawsuits were uncoordinated. “I don’t know their plan,” he said, adding that his lawsuit would be filed “next week”.
CNRP Deputy President Mu Sochua said she was “disappointed” by the plans.
“This is about breaking the nation . . . If [Prince Norodom Ranariddh] does not have the courage to fight for the spirit of democracy, he should remain quiet,” she said of Funcinpec’s leader.
Political analyst Meas Nee said the lawsuit announcement shows both parties “are loyal to the CPP and work together”.
Last month, both parties released statements supporting the government’s arrest of Sokha, and Sros has previously sued Sokha for comments dismissing minor parties.
Nee also questioned the minor parties’ standing to even file the complaint.“Only the court or government has the responsibility to . . . take measures on this case,” he said.
Sros also has pending lawsuits against rights activists and commentators But Buntenh, Pa Nuon Teang and Moeun Tola over allegedly misappropriating funds for the funeral of murdered political analyst Kem Ley. Last week, Buntenh said he was abroad in America and would not return for his hearing.
“I believe in Cambodian people but not in the state institutions such as the court,” he said in a message.
Additional reporting by Erin Handley