Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM, Sokha expected present at National Assembly

PM, Sokha expected present at National Assembly

Deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha speaks at the party’s headquarters in Phnom Penh on Sunday. Photo supplied
Deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha speaks at the party’s headquarters in Phnom Penh on Sunday. Photo supplied

PM, Sokha expected present at National Assembly

Prime Minister Hun Sen and deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha are today set to come face to face for the first time since Sokha went into effective hiding to avoid arrest six months ago – a period during which the premier threatened to jail him for life.

Officials from both the Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodia National Rescue Party confirmed yesterday that Hun Sen and Sokha – who has only left CNRP headquarters once since May 26 – will attend the National Assembly to vote on next year’s budget.

Speaking at an inauguration ceremony of National Road 76 in Ratanakkiri province, Hun Sen himself said that he would attend the assembly meeting in the morning before flying to Siem Reap for a meeting with the prime ministers of Vietnam and Laos.

“Whether the National Assembly session is finished or not, I will have to leave for Siem Reap,” Hun Sen told the audience. “The other lawmakers will not be going anywhere; it will just be one lawmaker, Hun Sen, going to lead a meeting of the development triangle.”

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said that he believed Hun Sen would greet CNRP lawmakers, including Sokha, as is customary, but that Sokha should not get his hopes up for any special negotiations with Hun Sen about the political climate.

“There will be normal talk, and they will greet each other, but there will be no talk about political issues,” Eysan said, before predicting Sokha’s requests.

“His request to meet is to release [CNRP] prisoners, but a political party cannot solve the issue of the prisoners.”

“We are waiting for the procedures of the court to be finished first,” the spokesman said.

CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith also confirmed that Sokha, who was in September sentenced to five months in jail but so far remains free pending appeals, would leave the safety of party headquarters for the second time since a May 26 arrest attempt.

He said both parties’ presence at the budget debate and vote was a step towards releasing the many opposition activists and officials presently in jail after a year of recriminations.

“I believe that this is a positive thing for seeking a resolution, because it is a good opportunity for the parties that have seats in the parliament to come and work together,” the CNRP spokesman said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement