Elected Bar Association Head Goes Back to Work

Suon Visal, elected president of the Cambodian Bar Association, on Monday headed the association’s first meeting since the Sup­reme Court on June 2 annulled an Ap­­peals Court decision to hand over the presidency to his rival Ky Tech.

The meeting was attended by 12 of the council’s 19 members and Suon Visal. Ky Tech was not present.

“We must exist,” Suon Visal said following the meeting. “We need to restore the interest of the bar.”

The Japan International Co­oper­ation Agency has warned that it might withdraw aid to the bar due to uncertainty about who was the president.

On Oct 16, legal aid lawyer Su­on Vis­al defeated incumbent Ky Tech in a runoff election for the as­so­ciation’s presidency. The following day, Ky Tech challenged the election result and in a closed-door hearing on Nov 19, the Ap­peals Court threw out the election re­sults and handed the presidency back to Ky Tech without explanation.

Suon Visal later appealed the de­cision, and the Supreme Court ruled that the Appeals Court broke the law by ordering Ky Tech to assume the presidency and for holding their hearing in private.

Though the Supreme Court has ordered the Appeal Court to hear the case again, Suon Visal said Monday that he will continue to work daily as the president of the association.

Council members who attended Mon­day’s meeting said they ag­reed to change the door key and de­sign a new official stamp for the as­sociation if Ky Tech declined to hand the old stamp over in the coming week.

Contacted by phone Monday, Ky Tech declined comment.

 

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