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Assembly poised to fill CNRP’s old seats

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
The National Assembly will begin a new session with a set of fresh faces. KT/Mai Vireak

The National Assembly will today announce new lawmakers from minor political parties following the National Election Committee’s reallocation of seats belonging to the former opposition CNRP which was dissolved by the Supreme Court.

The NEC has already submitted a list of reallocations for 55 seats vacated by CNRP lawmakers to the National Assembly.

The Funcinpec Party was given 41 seats, the League for Democracy Party six seats, the Khmer Anti-Poverty Party five seats, and the Cambodian Nationality Party two seats and the Khmer Economic Development Party one seat.

But 11 seats were turned down by the League for Democracy Party and the Khmer Anti-Poverty Party.

National Assembly spokesman Leng Penglong confirmed that most seats would be filled when parliament resumed today.

“The National Assembly will announce the validation of 44 parliamentarians. The NEC will reallocate the other 11 seats after some parties turned them down,” Mr Penglong noted.

NEC deputy-secretary general Som Sorida said the replacements for those 11 seats would be submitted to the National Assembly today.

“All 11 seats will be handed to the CPP,” Mr Sorida said, noting that the CPP had more support than both the LDP and KAPP at the polling stations that represented the seats.

The ruling CPP will see their seats jump from 68 to 79 if the reallocations are validated.

Mr Penglong added that it has not yet been decided who would replace former CNRP leader Kem Sokaha as first vice-president of the National Assembly. Mr Sokha remains jailed on treason charges.

Khmer Times has learned that a member of the Funcinpec Party will be elected as a Vice President of the National Assembly  and another member will be elected as the President of the Specialized Political Commission.

The CNRP was dissolved following the jailing of its leader Kem Sokha on treason charges for allegedly cooperating with the US to topple the government.

The crackdown has been criticised by the US and dismissed as nonsense, with the country pulling some aid to the NEC and demanding the release of Mr Sokha.

On Friday, the Senate and National Assembly released a joint statement asking the US and its Senate to stop interfering in Cambodia’s affairs.

The statement included five questions for the US Senate, including if it would allow political parties to accept foreign funding to topple the legitimate government without being punished according to the law.

Deputy spokesman for the US embassy in Phnom Penh David Josar declined to comment yesterday.

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