CNRP laws get royal nod

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Kem Sokha greets party workers before his detention on treason charges. KT/Chor Sokunthea

King Norodom Sihamoni yesterday signed off on amendments to four election laws to determine how the CNRP’s seats in parliament and local authorities will be redistributed if and when the party is dissolved.

Prime Minister Hun Sen meanwhile reiterated his call for CNRP members to defect to the ruling CPP.

Speaking in front of thousands of garment workers, Mr Hun Sen said the CPP would receive any CNRP official who wanted to defect, from commune councils up to the highest levels of government.

He said they would be allowed to keep their positions if they joined his party, as long as they were innocent and did not know about the treasonous acts of their leaders.

“We do not want to implicate innocent people,” Mr Hun Sen said. “So we welcome them to defect to the CPP.”

The Prime Minister said that in communes where only the CPP and CNRP fielded candidates, CNRP commune seats would be handed to the ruling party.

He added that traitors from the opposition had been arrested based on solid evidence that the CNRP was involved in trying to start a colour revolution, so the party will be dissolved in the upcoming days.

Mr Hun Sen said he could not tolerate traitors who used the veil of human rights and democracy to employ foreign powers in destroying Cambodia.

Opposition party vice-president Pol Ham said he did not want the CNRP to be dissolved but would not defy the move.

“If the law requires the party to be dissolved, then I will accept that. I am also at the age for retirement,” he said.

Since Mr Hun Sen invited CNRP officials to defect on Sunday, opposition lawmaker Long Buny of Prey Veng province has already jumped ship, as have commune and district councillors from Phnom Penh, Takeo, Stung Treng and Kampong Thom provinces.

The opposition CNRP confirmed the party would not prohibit its members of parliament or commune chiefs from defecting to the ruling CPP.

CPP spokesman Sok Ey San could not confirm the exact number of defections so far.

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