The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday issued a verdict in the case of 23 labor activists and two minors, finding them guilty of charges related to violent demonstrations but releasing them on suspended sentences.
The sub-national councilors were elected in a closed vote May 18 by local commune councilors.
Ruling party lawmakers are dismissing criticism by the UN’s special envoy for human rights over their passage of three judicial reform laws.
Critics say the law, passed without opposition lawmakers in the Assembly, will put more power in the hands of the executive branch.
The Law on the Organization of the Courts will put more power within the Ministry of Justice and was passed without critical questioning.
Three CPP lawmakers took about an hour at the Assembly on Wednesday to express their support for the continuing debate on the law.
Sam Rainsy and Hun Sen have spoken before and been unable to bridge the gap between parties that has led to a prolonged political deadlock.
A team of Japanese experts met with political negotiators from the ruling party and opposition, seeking to find middle ground on election reform and end a long political deadlock.
Critics of the laws—aimed at reforming a widely mistrusted judicial system—say they are being passed without proper input from outside legal and development experts.
Thailand's military chief, General Prayuth Chan-Ocha, said the move was necessary because of mounting fear that there could be riots in many parts of the country
Observers say the gains made by the opposition will change the look of politics at the local council level.
Territorial disputes between China and Vietnam have triggered deadly anti-China protests in Vietnam this week.