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Senate speeds up parties law

A screen showing the Senate vote on the controversial Political Parties law passed on Monday at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh.
A screen showing the Senate vote on the controversial Political Parties law passed on Monday at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

Senate speeds up parties law

Cambodia's Senate Standing Committee has rushed through impending changes to the Law on Political Parties, saying the amendments were a matter of “urgency”.

Those amendments, which prohibit the political involvement of convicted criminals and overtly target former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, were yesterday granted swift passage to the Senate’s sixth commission for discussion, said Senate spokesman Mam Bun Neang.

“This law is very important. It is responsible for the people and the politicians in the forthcoming election next year, in order to maintain social security and national stability,” he said.

Sam Rainsy Party Senator Teav Vannol – whose party will be impacted by the amendments, which also prevent a party taking the name of an individual – objected to the move.

“I requested to void that law, because it’s not for the Cambodian people at all,” Vannol said.

The changes are expected to be returned to the Senate Standing Committee on July 17, with a vote likely the following day.

Often considered a “rubber stamp” body, once the changes pass the Senate they will have to be approved by the Constitutional Council and the King.

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