Elections Sought for Deadlocked Bar Association

Suon Visal, president-elect of the factionalized Cambodian Bar As­sociation, called on Friday for a new election to resolve the bar’s disputed presidency post and promised to abide by the results of a new vote.

Suon Visal said in a statement that he is prepared to attend a meeting of the bar association’s 19-member executive council on Monday to discuss two points: Holding a new presidential and executive council election and resolving all lawsuits related to the disputed presidency.

Suon Visal’s presidency election win in October 2004 and Ky Tech’s refusal to step down has plunged the association into more than a year of bitter internal conflict. It has also sparked legal action between the two men that has seen the presidency issue taken to the Appeals Court twice and Supreme Court once, and criminal complaints have been lodged against Suon Visal.

“We want an election for a new president and council members as soon as possible and will accept whoever wins,” Suon Visal wrote in the statement, which was signed by 11 executive council members.

According to the statement, the executive council’s three-year mandate expired on Oct 16 and the election of a new council is required.

Supports of Ky Tech were less than responsive to the proposal of new elections.

Ly Tayseng, bar council secretary-general, who proposed the Monday meeting said that neither Suon Visal nor the council members were in any position to decide on the meeting’s agenda, which he said was the responsibility of the president, Ky Tech. “The court has decided that Ky Tech is the temporary president. Do they want to abide by the law or not?” he asked.

“[Suon Visal] has no right to propose the agenda,” he added.

Ky Tech, however, said that the executive council would decide the agenda for Monday’s meeting.




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