Lawmakers Want Stadium Deal Canceled

More than 30 parliamentarians petitioned National Assembly Pres­ident Prince Norodom Ran­ariddh and the government this week to invalidate the contract for the renovation and development of Olympic Stadium. 

Funcinpec lawmaker Nan Sy said Tuesday that he sent the petition on Jan 8 with signatures from 33 Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy legislators demanding that the government cancel the contract between the government the Taiwanese developer commissioned to work on the aging stadium.

“We hope that Samdech Krom Preah will send the petition to Samdech Prime Minister [Hun Sen] to tackle the issue,” Nan Sy said after the National Assembly’s session break on Tuesday.

Nan Sy explained that the contract violates the land law recently passed by the National Assembly. He said he has yet to receive a response from Prince Ranariddh.

“What the people want and what the parliamentarians do now [indicates] that the contract with Yuanta Group [should] be canceled. If the government does not take action, the people will decide,” Nan Sy said, suggesting that the scheduled July elections would seal the fate of uncooperative politicians.

The sports complex entered the hands of the Yuanta Group of Taiwan, which signed a contract with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to renovate the facilities and construct residen­ces, businesses and other build­ings on the stadium grounds.

Funcinpec issued a statement Dec 30 declaring that the stadium “should be handed over to its original owner in order [for] it to be used for its original purpose.” King Norodom Sihanouk commissioned the edifice for sports use in the 1960s, and it is being considered by its supporters as a national heritage site that should not be modified or altered.

Critics of the renovation say the newly constructed apartments and businesses ringing the stadium should be torn down.


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