PHNOM PENH —
Opposition lawmakers plan to summon three government ministers to answer questions in parliament, but Prime Minister Hun Sen has intervened, pledging to block any attempt to summon them before parliamentary committees.
The ministers who are to be summoned are Tea Banh, national defense minister, Ith Samheng, labor minister, and Veng Sokhun, agriculture minister.
Son Chhay, a senior Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker, on Tuesday told reporters the officials would be summoned.
On Wednesday, Hun Sen said he would block the request.
“I will not permit the request. You ought to obey the law by entering the national assembly first. If you disobey the law, how can you summon the others to address those issues? I will not permit it. You ought to obey the law,” he said.
Chhay said the refusal of the opposition to join sessions in the National Assembly in protest at legal action against its members, which is widely seen as politically motivated, was not unconstitutional.
“The Cambodia National Rescue Party has the right to summon the ministers to address the issues in order to ensure the effectiveness of government performance,” he said.
“It is obligatory to summon ministers and the prime minister is obliged to send the minister here,” he added.
Leng Peng Long, National Assembly spokesman, said that they are still considering Hun Sen’s objection to the CNRP’s request.
“They have the right to [call ministers], but they boycotted the meeting [on Tuesday]. Therefore, there is no balance between the two parties.”