NA Postpones Consideration Of Legislation

At the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the National Assembly has postponed consideration of the new draft Law on Demonstrations, making it unlikely that the legislation will be passed ahead of the July national election, officials said Tuesday.

CPP Assembly First Vice Pres­ident Nguon Nhel announced during a Tuesday meeting of the As­sem­bly’s permanent committee that the law was going to stay with the government for a time, citing a request by the prime minister.

The draft legislation, which if passed would replace the current State of Cambodia-era law, was re­turned to the government last month after objections were raised about a provision that would make demonstration organizers responsible for damages caused by demonstrations that turn destructive. SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann, who chairs the Assembly’s interior commission, said at the time that the provision—article 26 of the draft law—could enable elements opposed to a demonstration to create serious trouble for organizers by provoking violence.

In a March 5 letter obtained Tuesday, Hun Sen asked Assembly President Heng Samrin to delay consideration of the law.

“I would like to inform Samdech that the government has not yet strictly considered the Assembly interior commission’s requested changes to article 26,” Hun Sen wrote.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen requested to take the draft law back,” Nguon Nhel said by telephone, adding that he was unsure when the Council of Ministers would return the legislation to the Assembly.

National Assembly Deputy Secretary-General Hul Buntha said the Assembly will close its doors ahead of the national election by the end of the month, adding: “It must be impossible to approve the draft law this mandate.”

Interior Ministry Secretary of State Nouth Sa An said Tuesday that his ministry had already made the changes requested by lawmakers, adding that the law is now in the hands of the Council of Ministers.

“It is sad that the draft law cannot be approved this mandate, but it was up to the circumstances,” he said.

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.