The Cambodian government rushed through legislative amendments on Monday all but sealing the fate of more than 480 commune chiefs elected just months ago under the banner of the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party, or CNRP.
The Cambodian government has hailed the move as evidence of the health of Cambodian democracy.
The international community has voiced strong opposition to Kem Sokha’s arrest and called for an easing of tensions.
The conference also discussed the legacy of the Paris Peace Accords, which ended Cambodia’s civil war in 1991 and enshrined pluralist democracy in Cambodian law.
The statement came a day after U.N. rights envoy Rhona Smith said Cambodian democracy was in peril.
Some fear its spread to other malarial regions, but for now many Cambodian and Vietnamese health officials and international experts see no public health crisis.
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.
In a statement on Thursday, Smith said the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party would raise serious concerns about how representative Cambodia’s parliament was.
Hun Sen said the agreement was no longer valid as several of the participants no longer existed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the incorporation of the Khmer Rouge into the Cambodian armed forces.
E.U. Ambassador George Edgar said in an email to VOA Khmer that the E.U. continues to take a “close interest” in the dispute resolution process.
Western donors express concern about Cambodia's democratization moves, but stop short of penalties.
The CNRP is currently the subject of a Supreme Court case that could see it dissolved if a complaint filed by the CPP is upheld.