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Opposition Party Gave up its Boycott of the National Assembly

Cambodia’s opposition on Monday gave up its six-month boycott of the National Assembly, just two weeks after outspoken party member and lawmaker Cheam Channy was sentenced to seven years prison following a conviction for allegedly building a private army despite extremely weak evidence.

Seven lawmakers from the Sam Rainsy Party joined 88 other members of the National Assembly for Monday’s session.

The boycott began in February, when the National Assembly voted to lift the parliamentary immunity of Cheam Channy and two other prominent opposition personalities: party leader Sam Rainsy and Chea Poch. Cheam Channy was arrested hours after the National Assembly’s decision; Chea Poch and Sam Rainsy fled the country. Chea Poch recently returned to Cambodia; Sam Rainsy remains in self-exile in Paris.