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IPU calls for dissolved CNRP to be reinstated

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Kem Sokha speaks to party supporters. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Inter-Parliamentary Union has called on the ruling CPP to allow former opposition CNRP lawmakers to retake their seats and for the party to be reinstated and allowed to participate in the upcoming national election.

The IPU, which consist of lawmakers from 178 countries worldwide, expressed regret that the CNRP was dissolved last year before the election on July 29.

At its 138th Assembly in Geneva on Tuesday, the IPU said the party’s dissolution violated fundamental rights and it urged the government to reinstate the party’s political rights.

“The IPU urged Cambodian authorities to immediately reinstate all 55 members of the CNRP and to resume political dialogue,” the IPU said in a statement.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan yesterday rejected the IPU’s request, saying that it had no effect on Cambodia’s independence and sovereignty.

“The order from IPU to the Cambodian government is interfering with Cambodia’s internal affairs, which is contrary to the UN Charter,” he said. “The IPU does not have any influence, so the opposition party cannot be revived because it was dissolved by the Supreme Court.”

The CNRP gained 55 seats out of the 123-seat National Assembly after the 2013 election, which were then divvied out to other parties following its dissolution.

The dissolution occurred after former party president Kem Sokha was jailed on treason charges in September and the party was accused of conspiring with the US to topple the government through a colour revolution.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday reaffirmed that he would not negotiate with former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy or any politicians linked to the party because it had been dissolved.

Mam Sonando, president of the Beehive Social Democratic Party, said that political resolution in Cambodia should be based on domestic principles rather than applying international pressure.

“In my opinion, the IPU’s statement is just their suggestion that the international community wants the opposition party back to work, but the IPU does not understand other issues that caused problems between the opposition party and the government,” Mr Sonando said.

Mr Korn Savong, a coordinator with election watchdog Comfrel, said that the time was ripe for Cambodian leaders to come to terms and negotiate to avoid possible sanctions.

“If there is no political negotiation, it is not good for the country’s development,” he said. “It would make the Khmer nation more divided, so politicians should think and prioritise the country’s interests and return to the negotiation table.”

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