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Top CNRP lawmaker: I’m ready to retire

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Pol Ham. Kt/Chor Sokunthea

Opposition vice-president Pol Ham yesterday said he would resign from the CNRP if and when the party was dissolved, citing old age.

Mr Ham made the announcement after a meeting of the National Assembly’s Permanent Committee, saying he wanted to leave politics to the next generation.

“I’m too old now,” he said. “At 70, I have reached the age for retirement.”

Mr Ham says it is time for younger people. KT/Chor Sokunthea

He said CNRP leaders have still not discussed the potential dissolution of the party by the Supreme Court, which has scheduled a hearing on the issue for Thursday of next week.

Mr Ham also dismissed threats that 125 senior opposition members would be banned from politics for five years if the party were dissolved.

“If that is what the law says it doesn’t matter because I have reached the time to resign anyway,” he said.

While uncertainty hangs over the future of the opposition, CNRP officials continue to defect to the ruling CPP.

As of yesterday, 55 members of the CNRP in Kampong Speu province had jumped ship to the CPP.

Mr Ham was the only senior CNRP lawmaker at the meeting of the Permanent Committee yesterday.

The rest have either fled abroad or are visiting Australia.

Mr Ham says it does not matter if he is on a list of banned politicians. Supplied

“I came to the meeting on behalf of parliamentarians,” Mr Ham said.

The meeting approved draft laws on taxation and financial management.

National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long said CNRP lawmakers had failed to fulfil their obligations
to serve the people who voted for them.

He added the opposition always turned up to parliament in democratic countries, even if their views were rejected.

“We don’t know why they always boycott sessions,” Mr Peng Long said.

The Supreme Court hearing to debate the dissolution of the CNRP follows complaints against it by Funcinpec and the Cambodian Youth Party.

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