The question of political space and democracy was raised during an over-the-weekend meet between Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn and Australian Senator Scott Ryan.
Mr Ryan, who attended the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Siem Reap last week, held talks with Mr Sokhonn at his office in Phnom Penh on Saturday.
Ministry spokesman Ket Sophann told reporters after the meeting that the question was raised by Mr Ryan, who is also president of the Australian Senate..
“His Excellency Prak Sokhonn responded by informing Mr Ryan of the election results, the creation of the Supreme Consultative Council and the recently amended Law on Political Parties, which paved the way for 118 former opposition leaders to return to politics,” Mr Sophann said. “So now the ball is on their side of the pitch – it’s up to the former opposition leaders whether they want to make a pardon request or not. It is their right.”
The Supreme Consultative Council was created after the Cambodian People’s Party won all 125 National Assembly seats last year to serve as a forum for 16 out 20 political parties who participated in the election.
The council is tasked with submitting petitions to the Senate over draft laws adopted by the National Assembly and providing opinion to the Prime Minister for any injustice or abuses by officials.
Full story in Monday’s paper