Cambodia to Proceed With Draft Law on State of Emergency Despite Calls For Further Review

Cambodia’s National Assembly will proceed with a review of draft legislation authorizing a state of emergency to contain the spread of the coronavirus, despite concerns that the bill has not been adequately vetted and Prime Minister Hun Sen saying Tuesday that there is no need to invoke it any time soon.

Leng Peng Long, spokesman for the one-party National Assembly, told RFA’s Khmer Service that the parliament’s permanent committee has received the draft “Law on Governing the Country in a State of Emergency” for assessment and will submit it to lawmakers for a vote “by Friday latest.”

He confirmed that the draft law is nearly identical to one that was leaked last week, prompting New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) to warn that it contained vague clauses that would provide Hun Sen with a means to “run the country by fiat” if enacted.

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