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Opposition to Hold Buddhist Ceremony for Lawmakers’ Protection


A man stands outside Cambodia National Rescue Party’s headquarter on Thursday evening May 26, 2016 where armed security forces attempted to search for the party’s deputy chief Kem Sokha. (Aun Chhengpor/VOA Khmer)

A man stands outside Cambodia National Rescue Party’s headquarter on Thursday evening May 26, 2016 where armed security forces attempted to search for the party’s deputy chief Kem Sokha. (Aun Chhengpor/VOA Khmer)

The CNRP was preparing to stage the symbolic event after Kem Sokha, the party’s deputy president, has faced several allegations that have gone to court, including defamation and solicitation.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party will on Tuesday hold a Buddhist ceremony calling for peace and reconciliation in the face of the threat of further legal action against its leadership.

The CNRP was preparing to stage the symbolic event after Kem Sokha, the party’s deputy president, has faced several allegations that have gone to court, including defamation and solicitation.

Than Leng, a Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge, issued a third subpoena against Sokha last Thursday for failing to appear in court for questioning on two prior occasions.

The acting CNRP president has since said he would not attend court for the third summons either, claiming that he is not required to attend court because he holds parliamentary immunity.

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party has said Sokha’s immunity is not at issue as they say there is clear evidence of a crime having been committed.

Chheang Vun, a CPP spokesman, said on Monday that immunity would not protect lawmakers who had committed obvious crimes.

The ceremony, due to be held on Tuesday, would feature prayers from 123 monks. The party has also planned a gathering at its headquarters on June 14.

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