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Opposition Party Opposes Border Agreement

Opposition Sam Rainsy party's members of parliament refuse to accept the 1985 added border treaty with Vietnam which will be signed during Prime Minister Hun Sen's official visit to Vietnam at the beginning of October. The opposition party members oppose this treaty saying it is in violation of the constitution and international law.

Sam Rainsy party members of parliament said that they have the right to proclaim all border treaties against national interest as null. This additional border treaty is against Cambodia's constitution's essence. Sam Rainsy party members say that this treaty was signed by the head of government, and it violates article 26 of the constitution in 1993 which states that only the King or the head of state has the right to sign international treaties.

Sam Rainsy party members of parliament fully support the decision of the former King in solving the border problem with neighboring countries, and about the treaty or international agreement on present border problem which can violate Cambodia's integrity.

According to the international law, the proclamation signed by the South Vietnam Liberation Front and the People's Republic of Vietnam, is a treaty on the border encroachment between Cambodia and Vietnam, therefore there is no need for the 1985 border treaty or the additional border treaty now.

Sam Rainsy party's secretary, Mr. Eng Chhay Eang, said that his party recognizes only the treaty accepted by the international community and which has been kept at the UN headquarter in 1963-1969 and would not accept any other treaties contrary to the constitution in 1993 and the Paris Agreement in 1991. Mr. Khiev Kanharith, government spokesman and Minister of Information cannot be reached for comments.

The ruling parties leaders used to say such treaty is not illegal and will not result in the loss of Cambodian territory. Mr. Heng Samrin, CPP's honorary President and First Vice President of the Assembly said that the Khmer people defend their border and that the government and the Assembly agree to the treaty. Mr. Son San Foundation said Wednesday that it would ask Mr. Hun Sen to look at the Cambodia area of 181,035 square km. before signing.

The border committee activists, NGOs officials, and the Student Movement for Democracy all protest this treaty. Mr. Sean Pengse, France-based Cambodia Border Committee's President, asked the former King to interfere in the matter and to persuade King Sihamoni not to sign the treaty. But the former King said that whether or not the acting head of state, Mr. Chea Sim, will sign this treaty, it is up to his conscience about his nation.