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Assembly Opens New Session, as Opposition Boycott Continues

  • Suy Heimkhemra
  • VOA Khmer

Lawmakers say they intend to debate a contentious set of legal reform laws on Tuesday, file photo.

Lawmakers say they intend to debate a contentious set of legal reform laws on Tuesday, file photo.

Lawmakers from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party passed a series of international protocols, including conflict resolution mechanisms for Asean, despite a boycott of parliament by the opposition.

Lawmakers say they intend to debate a contentious set of legal reform laws on Tuesday, ignoring calls from outside experts who say the drafts fall short of international standards.

Cheam Yiep, a lawmaker for the CPP, said the Assembly would go forward with debate on the draft judicial laws, despite a request from the UN’s office of human rights in Cambodia urging them to delay.

“Only the Assembly itself can make a decision whether to delay its working procedures or not,” he said. “We request that you not interfere in Cambodia’s affairs.”

Critics of the laws—aimed at reforming a widely mistrusted judicial system—say they are being passed without proper input from outside legal and development experts.

“The law will affect the independence of the courts in Cambodia,” said Chak Sopheab, head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights.
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