Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rainsy’s presence causes CPP walkout

Rainsy’s presence causes CPP walkout

Rainsy’s presence causes CPP walkout

Incensed by the presence of opposition leader Sam Rainsy, CPP legislators walked out of a meeting of international parliamentarians in Rome yesterday, according to two Italian officials.

“Shortly before the opening of the seventh consultative assembly of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), the Cambodian delegation objected to their parliamentary colleagues Ram [sic] Rainsy and Saumura Touilong [sic] . .  when the pair entered the hall where the meeting was held,”  Senator Marco Perduca and parliamentarian Matthew Mecacci wrote in a statement.  

The two-day meeting, attended by hundreds of parliamentarians from countries party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, is the “only global gathering of legislators focused solely on the International Criminal Court,” the official program notes.

Speaking by phone from Rome, Rainsy, leader of the newly formed Cambodian National Rescue Party, confirmed the Italian politicians’ account and said the three-person Cambodian delegation, led by Cheang Vun, attempted to pressure the organisers into throwing him out of the meeting because he was not an official member of the delegation.

“[Vun] went to see the president of the Italian National Assembly and vice-president of the Senate [who were hosting]    . . . and both told him  he was free to leave,” Rainsy said.

“He couldn’t believe his ears. He thought the organisers would give in to this blackmail and ask me to leave the room when he said that if Sam Rainsy did not leave the room, they would leave . . . Cheang Vun did not realise he was on democratic ground; he could not push his agenda.”

International legislators who witnessed the incident were “shocked”, added Rainsy, who claimed the delegation’s accreditation was cancelled after the walkout.

Questions to the PGA were not immediately answered. Calls to senior CPP lawmakers, National Assembly cabinet officials and the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs went unanswered.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abby Seiff at [email protected]

With assistance from Meas Sokchea

MOST VIEWED

  • Hundreds of children in hospital with dengue

    A serious dengue fever epidemic is affecting Cambodia, with nearly 600 children hospitalised in the five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday alone, a statement posted on the Kantha Bopha Foundation’s official Facebook page said on Wednesday. Because Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals provide

  • Sihanoukville building collapse death toll rises to 19

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Sunday that the government will act against those responsible for the collapse of a seven-storey building in Sihanoukville on Saturday, which resulted in 19 dead and 24 injured as of Sunday evening. Sar Kheng said three Chinese nationals and one

  • Gov’t to probe Chinese exports to US via Sihanoukville

    The government is investigating allegations that Chinese companies are using Chinese-owned special economic zones in Cambodia to export goods to the US and avoid tariffs, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay. The move comes after US embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes said the US had

  • Banh: The Khmer Rouge worse than sanctions and pressure

    Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said on Thursday that having sanctions and external pressure placed on Cambodia was not worse than life under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Tea Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, was speaking to military and ruling party officials