Cambodian opposition MPs end boycott
CAMBODIA’S opposition MPs ended a six-month boycott of parliament following months of legal and political pressure from strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Lawmakers from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) pulled out of parliamentary sessions in May after some MPs, including its deputy leader Kem Sokha, were slapped with legal cases by the government.
With 2018 elections in view, Hun Sen is increasingly using Cambodia’s pliant courts – as well as his political cunning – to box in rivals, a tactic he has deployed throughout his 31-year tenure in office.
Yesterday 39 opposition MPs ended their boycott and joined the parliamentary debate on a US$5 billion budget for 2017.
The opposition are increasingly
cramped in the run-up to elections.
Their leader, Sam Rainsy, is in self-exile in France to avoid arrest on charges he says are political.
His deputy Kem Sokha has since May been holed up inside party headquarters in Phnom Penh. He was sentenced to five months in jail in September for refusing to appear in court over an alleged sex scandal.
Cambodian lawmakers from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) look for their names on a list during a meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday.
look for their names on a list during a