Thursday, 30 October 2008

SRP proposal rejected

Cambodge Soir


The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) asked for official recognition of its status as opposition party. But an amendment of the internal rules of the National Assembly or a bill are the required procedures to follow according to a Cambodia’s People Party (CPP) lawmaker.

Cheam Yeap, CPP MP, confirmed to Cambodge Soir Hebdo, that SRP proposal to modify the National Assembly internal rules was rejected on Tuesday October 28 without having been examined.

The lawmaker is also a member of the standing committee of the National Assembly and explained that “the proposal did not follow the usual procedural rules”. He also added that the wording “opposition party” is not mentioned in the Constitution of the Kingdom. Also, pursuant to article 82 of the internal rules providing that an amendment proposal must be submitted by at least a quarter of the MPs, the SRP with only 26 elected MPs cannot reach this quorum.

Last week, the SRP sent a letter to the president of the National Assembly to remind him of the amendment project and to ask the lower chamber to examine the proposal.

Cambodge Soir Hebdo could not reach any representative of the party to react to the National Assembly standing committee decision. Nevertheless there are still recourses for the SRP. Cheam Yeap explained the procedure to follow: “the party shall draft a bill as in case of recognition of the party as an opposition party, it could benefit from public funding. But to allocate part of the budget can only be done within the framework of the law”.

On September 24, a few hours before the new National Assembly first session, Hun Sen agreed to a demand from Sam Rainsy to officially recognise the role of the opposition party. But the Prime Minister added that an ad hoc group would have to be set up to examine this proposal.

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