Cambodian Parliament Approves Law that Allows Government to File Lawsuit to Dissolve Opposition Party
Cambodian parliament has approved the amendment of the law that allow government to file petition to court to dissolve the opposition party. The amendment is made to target the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) under the leadership of Sam Rainsy.
The amendment to the 1998 election law was passed after 66 members of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party voted in favor of the new regulation. With the amendment, parties that engage in the activities that deemed harming the national security can be banned, South China Morning Post reported.
Such activities mentioned in the election law includes incitement, defamation or promoting a separation to the nation. Politicians from the convicted party is banned to stand for election and can lead to the party dissolution.
Prior to the amendment, opposition leader Rainsy has declared to resign from his party, CNRP earlier this month. His resignation will exclude CNRP from the dissolution threat. Rainsy has been living in exile in France since 2015 to avoid defamation charges against him.
CNRP is the sole opposition party in Cambodia that posed a significant challenge to the ruling party under Prime Minister Hun Sen for the upcoming election scheduled 2018. In the 2013 general election, CNRP surprisingly took 55 seats in the parliament as reported by BBC.
Cambodia has been under the leadership of Hun Sen for more than 30 years. He was successful to rebuild the country that was ripped by a long and devastating civil war in the 1970’s, which followed by war with the neighboring country Vietnam that ended in 1990’s.
When King Norodom Sihanouk endorsed the national reconciliation after the disastrous civil war, Hun Sen was elected as the Prime Minister of the newly formed government. His opponent Rainsy was the leader of CNRP until his resignation in early February.
Watch the report from Associated Press regarding the resignation of Rainsy below: