Hot! Cambodian PM’s Rival Politically Exiled

Law was approved by Cambodian parliament on Monday

Sam Rainsy by VOA

The Cambodian parliament has approved legal changes that effectively bar the Prime Minister’s main rival, Sam Rainsy from participating in politics.

According to the legislation, political leaders convicted of crimes will not be allowed to run for office. The legislation also grants the Supreme Court the power to dissolve political parties that are run by criminally convicted leaders.

According to BBC, “Mr Rainsy stepped down from the helm of his opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) this month ahead of the changes, saying he wanted to protect the party.

The CNRP is the sole opposition party in parliament and poses a threat to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) in elections scheduled for next year.”

The bill was unanimously approved by ruling MP’s and will now move to the Senate for finalization.

The changes have been condemned by opposition parties and Human Rights Watch who see it as consolidation of absolute power by Hun Sen, Cambodia’s PM.

Phil Robertson, the group’s Asia director said to BBC, “Hun Sen’s election strategy is clear: bulldoze what’s left of Cambodia’s democratic institutions by using laws like this one, while simultaneously intimidating civil society into silence with arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders and threats to de-register troublesome NGOs.”

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