Prime Minister Hun Sen has dismissed a proposal from a former Funcinpec Party senior official to create a law granting former prime ministers immunity after their mandates, calling the idea an “insult” to him and his ruling CPP.
Lu Lay Sreng, Cambodia’s former deputy prime minister and a former senior official of the royalist Funcinpec Party, issued letters to the premier and CNRP leader Kem Sokha last week suggesting that the National Assembly pass such a law.
Mr Hun Sen granted an exclusive interview to the government-aligned Fresh News website in response, denouncing the idea as an “insult” and a “mischievous” way to make citizens believe he has committed wrongdoings.
“It is a serious insult to the Cambodian People’s Party, hinting that the party is preparing to lose [in the 2018 general election],” Mr Hun Sen told Fresh News in a report published on Saturday.
Mr Hun Sen went on to say that Mr Lay Sreng, now aligned with the CNRP, floated the idea with ill intentions, hoping to make citizens believe he has broken the law.
“The request to create this law is a trick to mislead people into thinking that the current prime minister has been making serious mistakes,” he said. “In fact, the CPP has been accumulating a large number of achievements for the country. But, they [the opposition] are happy to ruin the national reputation, cause chaos, incite, and destroy national achievements while trying to bring Cambodia down into the fire and ruin the development of the country instead.”
In his letter, Mr Lay Sreng said the law to grant former prime ministers immunity was a way to ensure the country did not fall back into the clutches of war.
Political analyst Sok Touch said the law proposed by Mr Lay Sreng was a moot point because such mechanisms already exist.
“In the case that the prime minister does something wrong, the National Assembly has the right to vote for dropping the immunity of the prime minister. If the prime minister holds his position until the end of his mandate, that means that he has not done anything wrong, so there is no need for this law,” he said.
Separately, the premier also addressed rumours circling online that he is battling a serious illness that has required trips to Singapore for hospital visits.
Mr Hun Sen posted pictures of himself driving a Camry car, explaining that he was in good health and was using the vehicle to inspect the situation of the city.