The National Assembly in Cambodia often strips immunity from
parliamentarians of the Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy parties, but they
never suspend the immunity of the Cambodian People's Party, a rights
expert warned this week.
An expert who observes the democratic process and human
rights violations in Cambodia,
Lao Monghay, said the National Assembly in Cambodia is not independent and is biased
to the ruling party.
"Our National Assembly is not independent. If the National
Assembly was independent it should not take immediate action," said Lao
Monghay, a senior researcher for the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong. "The thing is that, they should ask the
municipal court whether the court has enough accurate evidence to charge, to
arrest or to detain."
"In fact the National Assembly should protect its
member first, and when the court has found enough accurate evidence and
reasonable cause whether this case could lead to arrest or detention, then they
can agree through the request," he said.
"But until now the National
Assembly is biased toward the ruling party, or Cambodian People's Party, because
most of the parliamentarians are from the ruling party and those
parliamentarians always agree through the proposal of the court," he said. "So that they
can say that it is bias to the ruling party and that they always want to
condemn the opposition party's parliamentarians. It is injustice."
Sok Samoeun, director of the Cambodian Defenders Project,
said it is easy for the ruling party's parliamentarians to strip immunity from
opposition parliamentarians, because they have more power.
"The parliamentarian [suspension] issue is in the
ruling party's hand to make a decision because they have a majority seat in the
Assembly, so that it made all of the other parties' parliamentarians feel so
much cold," Sok Samoeun said.
"The democracy process in Cambodiais not yet stable and the
court power is not independent, so it must be under the control of the ruling
party, he said, adding that in order to make all the political parties equal,
the court system should be strong and independent."