Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rainsy stripped of lawmaker status

Rainsy stripped of lawmaker status

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy poses for a photo with deputy party leader Kem Sokha and Cambodian workers in South Korea last week after an arrest warrant was issued for his arrest.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy poses for a photo with deputy party leader Kem Sokha and Cambodian workers in South Korea last week after an arrest warrant was issued for his arrest. Photo supplied

Rainsy stripped of lawmaker status

Sam Rainsy is no longer a lawmaker.

The decision to strip the opposition leader of his lawmaker status and immunity followed a morning meeting of the National Assembly’s permanent committee that was boycotted by the Cambodia National Rescue Party.

“His Excellency Sam Rainsy has lost the rights, parliamentary privileges and membership as a member of the National Assembly for the Kampong Cham constituency,” Assembly President Heng Samrin said in a statement issued just before lunchtime.

Samrin’s statement cites the Cambodian Constitution as well as provision 83 of the National Assembly’s internal regulations and article 139 of the law on the election of members of the National Assembly.

The decision was taken after consulting with the Ministry of Justice about the CNRP president’s 2011 conviction on defamation and incitement charges, ruling Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Chheang Vun told reporters outside the National Assembly.

The move follows closely on the heels of the creation of a special commission in charge of both making the arrest and quelling any potential protests by CNRP supporters.

The arrest commission, signed into being by Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday, has been divided into two “working groups”, one designated for Phnom Penh and one for Siem Reap, the other potential landing spot for Rainsy.

The commission is led by Interior Ministry secretary of state Em Sam An and National Police commissioner Neth Saveoun.

Immigration Department general director Sok Phal and prisons chief Kuy Bun Sorn will serve as deputy heads.

A CNRP spokesman announced on Sunday that Rainsy would return to face potential arrest on a Korean Airlines flight to Phnom Penh scheduled to land at 10:20pm on Monday. Earlier rumours had the opposition leader flying into Siem Reap, hence the creation of a second task force for that airport.

Rainsy faces a two-year jail sentence related to his 2011 conviction on charges of defamation and incitement for a 2008 speech given at Choeung Ek Genocide Center in which he asserted that Foreign Minister Hor Namhong had run the Khmer Rouge’s Boeung Trabek detention facility.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • Is Cambodia’s microfinance sector running its course?

    Economic growth and the strength of the banking system might have prompted a slow decline of the microfinance segment that has been raising a population ‘The MFI business model is over,” opined David Van, a Cambodian investment expert, recently. He felt that in a couple