A ruling party proposal that could see the opposition party’s seats in parliament divided up among several minor political parties if it is dissolved is being reviewed by parliament’s standing committee, an official has said.
Leng Peng Long, National Assembly spokesman, told VOA after a meeting of the committee that it had forwarded the proposal to parliament’s legislative and judicial committee for further review.
“The amendment has already been sent and I have no idea about its progress,” he said.
He added that after the committees had reviewed the legislation it would be sent back to parliament to be voted on in an upcoming plenary session.
The Supreme Court is currently considering a complaint filed by the Interior Ministry that could see the Cambodia National Rescue Party dissolved over allegations it broke the law on political parties, which prohibits parties from associating with convicted criminals.
The former head of the CNRP lives in exile in France after the government revived a years-old defamation conviction in 2015 and is also wanted on separate charges. Kem Sokha, the current CNRP president, was jailed in early September on treason charges for allegedly conspiring with a foreign power to overthrow Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.
The Supreme Court has given Sokha, who has been kept in a remote jail in Tbong Khmum province since his arrest, 20 days to respond to the complaint that could see that party dissolved.
Meas Ny, a political analyst, said that the plan to dissolve the CNRP was unconstitutional and required legislation to be passed through a pliant court system and one-sided parliament in order to have a veneer of legitimacy.
The moves against the opposition have been roundly condemned by the international community and human rights groups.