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Senate passes controversial les majeste law

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Senators pass the vote. Supplied

The Senate on Wednesday passed some laws, including an amendment to the Criminal code, which will punish anyone who insults the king with a penalty of one to five years in jail.

According to a statement from the Senate on Wednesday, the laws were debated and passed, including amendments to the constitution and criminal code, despite concerns raised by the United Nations on Tuesday.

An extraordinary session of the National Assembly was held on February 14 to discuss and then approve the penal code amendment, which criminalises insulting the King, as well as amending five articles of the constitution and a draft law on business in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

The now dissolved opposition CNRP issued a statement about the session on February 15, claiming it was illegitimate because parliament no longer reflects the will of the people following the opposition party’s dissolution by the Supreme Court in the wake of its leader’s arrest on treason charges.

“The CNRP thinks the work of the National Assembly is now unconstitutional because 55 members of 123 lawmakers were not voted in by the people, but instead are now members of the assembly by default and have therefore robbed the people’s will,” the statement said.

National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long responded to the statement on February 15, calling it words from a ghost.

“These are words from a ghost, just words meant to haunt us that are in fact useless,” he said.

Full story in Thursday’s paper.

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