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SRP’s shadow graft bill rejected

SRP’s shadow graft bill rejected

THE National Assembly has dismissed a draft anticorruption law submitted by opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) lawmaker Son Chhay last month in a bid to draw attention to the fact that the government had kept the official draft under wraps.

In a letter issued on Wednesday, National Assembly President Heng Samrin recognised the receipt of the law but said the assembly’s permanent committee “has in unanimity agreed not to receive the proposed law on anticorruption council from his Excellency”.

Cheam Yeap, senior lawmaker for the Cambodian People’s Party, said the committee dismissed Son Chhay’s law because lawmakers had already received the draft Law on Anticorruption, passed by the Council of Ministers in December.

However, Son Chhay said on Thursday that even though the government’s law had been drafted with the help of foreign experts, it had also come under fire from many quarters – including the World Bank – and “seemed to defend corrupt officials”.

He said his main aim was to take part in the debates surrounding the new law. “We are not offended that the law was not received because our aim was for the [government’s] law to be examined soon,” he said.

“We hope that when the assembly debates the government’s draft, it will take some ideas stated in our proposed law to include as well.”

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