Cam­bo­dia mulls restor­ing op­po­si­tion’s po­lit­i­cal rights

The Myanmar Times - - Metro -

Cam­bo­dia’s one-party par­lia­ment is con­sid­er­ing a pro­posal to lift a ban on par­tic­i­pa­tion in pol­i­tics by 118 for­mer op­po­si­tion politi­cians, im­posed ahead of last July’s gen­eral elec­tion, its chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cial said Mon­day.

Leng Pen­g­long, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the 125-mem­ber Na­tional As­sem­bly, said 87 law­mak­ers have signed a pe­ti­tion propos­ing to amend the Law on Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties so that “in­di­vid­u­als who have been banned from po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties can be re­in­stated with full rights” by the king upon the re­quest of the prime min­is­ter.

In Novem­ber last year, the Cam­bo­dia Na­tional Res­cue Party, which was the coun­try’s only op­po­si­tion party, was forcibly dis­solved and 118 of its politi­cians were banned from pol­i­tics for five years, in­clud­ing party lead­ers Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha.

The dis­so­lu­tion was widely re­garded as be­ing aimed at elim­i­nat­ing any vi­able op­po­si­tion ahead of the gen­eral elec­tion.

The pro­posal is likely in­tended to ease in­ter­na­tional pres­sure on Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen and his Cam­bo­dian Peo­ple’s Party, es­pe­cially from the Eu­ro­pean Union.

Mean­while, Sam Rainsy was re­port­edly ap­pointed as head of the Cam­bo­dian Na­tional Res­cue Move­ment at a con­fer­ence held in At­lanta, Ge­or­gia, over the week­end. The event was boy­cotted by sup­port­ers of Kem Sokha.

– Ky­odo

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