Controversial Political Party Law Amendment Ruled Constitutional

The Constitutional Council, an institution stacked with CPP loyalists, on Friday ruled that changes to the Law on Political Parties that give the government and courts broad power to suspend or dissolve political parties were constitutional.

In a speech announcing the changes, Prime Minister Hun Sen had said they were aimed at stripping former opposition leader Sam Rainsy of his political power.

“The Constitutional Council decides that the Law on Political Parties adopted by the National Assembly and the Senate is pronounced constitutional,” said the statement released on Friday.

The decision will be forwarded to Senate President Say Chhum for final endorsement as he serves as acting Head of State while King Norodom Sihamoni is out of the country. The king went to China for a medical checkup on Friday.

Senate spokesman Mam Bun Neang said Friday that he expects Mr. Chhum to sign the law early next week.

The Senate approved the changes to the Law on Political Parties during a plenary session on February 28 that senators for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party boycotted. The National Assembly passed the new rules, also despite an opposition boycott, on February 20.

roeun@cambodiadaily.com

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