Monday, May 17, 2021
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Khuon Narim

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Commune Chief Freed, More Pardons to Come

Four human rights workers and an election official will be pardoned after their trial, opposition officials said on Thursday, in the latest signal of a sudden political detente that also led to the release on Thursday of a jailed commune chief.

With Rainsy Out, Sokha Takes Helm at Assembly

In a move that further marginalized opposition leader Sam Rainsy and threatened to deepen party fissures, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that acting CNRP president Kem Sokha would replace Mr. Rainsy as his point of contact in the opposition.

CNRP Says Adhoc Prisoners Set to Be Freed

A commune chief sentenced to prison just three days ago in relation to a “prostitution” scandal targeting deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha received a royal pardon on Wednesday, while the CNRP said four human rights workers and an election official embroiled in the same case would be freed this month.

Adhoc Officers, Election Official, Commune Chief to Be Released, CNRP Says

Four human rights workers, an election official and a commune chief jailed in relation to a “prostitution” case centering around opposition leader Kem Sokha will be released this month, the CNRP said on Wednesday, although Interior Ministry Sar Kheng was more vague on the issue.

Freedom Park May Move North of City, Hun Sen Says

Freedom Park, an area in central Phnom Penh set aside for public demonstrations, may be moved to the city’s northern outskirts, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Tuesday, adding that the choice of the current location was a mistake from the outset.

Kem Sokha Back Home After Royal Pardon

Deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha over the weekend spent his first night at home since May following Friday’s royal pardon for evading court questioning, though a fragile political cease-fire and an open corruption probe mean he may not yet be in the clear.

Grenade Trap Discovered on Cambodian-Thai Border

Thai soldiers have been accused of planting a grenade trap near a Cambodian border post, prompting a threat from police that officers will open fire if it happens again.

Voter Registration Ends With 81% Enrollment

Commune office workers were ready to work until midnight last night to sign up everyone waiting in line on the last day of voter registration, set to conclude with an estimated 81 percent enrollment, election officials said.

Procrastinators Get Another Day to Register

At a crowded commune office in Phnom Penh on Tuesday afternoon, with last-minute voter registrants spilling out of its front doors, those waiting in line offered a common refrain: “I was busy.”

Mammoth Voter Registration Effort Ends Today

A crucial three-month voter registration period will finish today with about 7.7 million citizens newly signed up to a digital voter databank, paving the way for independent audits of the rolls, commune elections next year and fresh lobbying to enfranchise workers who live abroad ahead of national elections in 2018.

Rainsy Keeps Away From Cambodia and Mother-in-Law’s Funeral

CNRP President Sam Rainsy did not return to Cambodia from exile to attend the cremation of his mother-in-law on Sunday after his letter asking Prime Minister Hun Sen for permission to return went unanswered, a CNRP spokesman said.

NGOs to Defy Government Over Rights Day March

Several civil society organizations plan to defy a ban issued by Phnom Penh City Hall and march publicly on International Human Rights Day, event organizers said on Thursday.

CNRP Rues Missed Chance for Migrant Voters as Deadline Nears

Amid its final push for voter registration—the deadline to get on the rolls is Tuesday—the CNRP is ruing the disenfranchisement of workers living abroad, saying their support would be decisive for the opposition.

Government Establishes Workplace Safety Committee

A new national committee for occupational health and safety will monitor the enforcement of workplace safety, according to a sub-decree signed on Monday by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Kem Sokha Says People, Not Wall, Must Protect Borders

Invoking U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall on the border with Mexico, deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha said Cambodia could not afford such infrastructure, but still must focus on securing the border with Vietnam.

Dissident Monk Buntenh Defies Summons, Citing Verb Choice

Dissident monk But Buntenh declined to appear for questioning on Thursday in a defamation case filed by popular radio host and Beehive Party founder Mam Sonando, objecting to the court’s procedures and choice of verbs.

Sand Extraction in Koh Kong Province Halted, Ministry Says

Facing mounting scrutiny over the country’s sand trade, the Ministry of Mines and Energy said on Wednesday that all sand extraction had been suspended in Koh Kong province, where much of the country’s extraction takes place.

Royal Wax Drops Portend Good Year for Rain

As the “supermoon” hung above the Royal Palace on Monday night, 25 candles were turned on their heads, allowing wax to fall onto banana leaves. In the wax puddles that formed, the fate of farmers across the country was told.

Government to Provide Free National IDs, Official Says

The government may stop charging citizens for national identity cards and other legal documents before year’s end, the National Police chief said on Thursday.

Inactivity Defines Kem Ley Murder Inquiry

Authorities say they are continuing to investigate the murder of political analyst Kem Ley, who was shot dead in Phnom Penh four months ago today in what many believe was a political assassination. But in the home commune of the suspected killer, Oeuth Ang, one gets the sense that police are doing nothing.