Khmer Times/Ven Rathavong Monday, 22 June 2015 1752 views

CNRP will vote against draft NGO law, Sam Rainsy says

Sam Rainsy, president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, at the National Assembly today. (KT Photo: Ven Rathavong) 


PHNOM PENH, (Khmer Times) – Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy told representatives of NGOs today that lawmakers from his party will vote against the controversial draft law on associations and NGOs if it is not amended. 

“Having no law is better than this one,” Mr. Rainsy said, referring to the draft legislation approved by the Council of Ministers and sent to the National Assembly for debate.  

He made the comments during a meeting with representatives of civil society at the National Assembly this afternoon.

The opposition leader said that although he could not prevent the ruling Cambodia People’s Party from passing the legislation, he would do his best to ensure the draft is amended to make it better.

Members of his party will vote against the legislation if the ruling party does not allow it to be amended, Mr. Rainsy said. 

“If they still force the National Assembly to approve this draft law, only members of the ruling party will vote for it. The opposition will absolutely not agree,” he said.

Mr. Rainsy also said that if the law passes the assembly in its current form, his party would change it if they win the next election.  

He assured those present that he would discuss the legislation with Prime Minister Hun Sen. 

Representatives from 10 NGOs – including the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, Cambodian Center for Human Rights and Transparency International – attended the meeting. 

They called on Mr. Rainsy to ensure that legislation on associations and NGOs was postponed until after the next national election in 2018. 

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