V ice-President of the National Assembly Son Soubert said that the House is
currently operating outside the law and against the Constitution because the
issue of the seating of its members has not been settled. He also warned that
the failure of the government to forward draft bills has raised the prospect
that the National Assembly will end this session with very little
"We [the National Assembly] live in illegality, we are not
valid," Son Soubert said.
"Why? Because those MPs who have been appointed
as governors and as ambassadors have not been replaced. The constitution
stipulates that the National Assembly is composed of 120 members."
whole thing has been blocked by the unsolved problem of the two CPP candidates,
Prince Chakrapong and Sin Song, and soon this session of the National Assembly
will be closed, and we still live in illegality."
Son Soubert is the
General Secretary of BLDP, a member of the National Assembly from Battambang,
and the son of BLDP's President Son Sann.
Three members of the National
Assembly have been appointed to ambassadorial rank, Son Soubert said, and other
members were assigned as governors when Funcinpec split control of the 22
provinces with the CPP.
Son Soubert said: "In my opinion, there has been
no blockade here at the National Assembly. The press is blaming us for not
adopting any laws. But we are still waiting for the government to give us the
"The bill on immigration has been promised since at least March,
and we still have not seen the draft. The same is true for the investment
"The press law has been withdrawn because of international
opposition. The Council of the Magistracy Law has been opposed by our Parliament
because we think it is not constitutional. Now it seems that they are going to
sort out this problem, but it seems that we have wasted a lot of time and soon
it will be the end of the session."
The National Assembly has not met
since before the co-premiers went to Pyongyang. It was then the Press Law was
withdrawn from consideration. Lt Gen Tol Las, the General Secretary of the
National Assembly, said on June 13 that the next meeting had not yet been
"We will meet when the next bill arrives from the Council of
Ministers. The Cambodian press is blaming the National Assembly for the few
number of laws that have been passed.
"There are no single draft laws
stuck in the Assembly. We have acted on every law that has been given to us. The
Law for the Organization of the Council of Ministers has been returned to the
Council of Ministers for proposed amendments. When it comes back it must be
disseminated to the members of the Assembly who must be given time to read the
bill. We might be able to meet at the end of next week [June 24]."
Las said that the Assembly is due to recess this session on July 7. "But it
seems likely that there will be many extraordinary sessions."
Lt Gen Las
said that he expected to see a draft Immigration Law very soon, and the
Investment Law at some point.
The Council of Ministers is also expected
to return the Press Law, previously withdrawn from the Assembly in the face of
domestic and international opposition and the Council of Magistracy Law,
withdrawn for re-drafting because of disagreement about its
"Members in the National Assembly disagreed with the
inclusion of the Minister of Justice on the Council of Magistracy. These members
have countered with a proposal that the National Assembly select three experts
to sit on the Council," Son Soubert said. The job of the Council of Magistracy
will be to choose and discipline Cambodia's Justices.