PM Defends Key Bodies

Hun Sen has claimed “the law” prevents key recently-formed bodies such as the National Elec­tion Committee and the Constitu­tion­al Council from being politically biased as claimed by critics, ac­cording to the new edition of a Hong Kong-based weekly magazine. 

“I don’t want to talk about the people who work [in them], but about the law itself. Does the law allow anything to be pro-CPP? If the law does not allow [any bias], one has to abide by the law,” the second premier told Asia­week magazine in its June 12 issue.

“For myself, I would not be scared by anyone coming from anywhere because we have to concentrate on the law. If the law says it is white, we cannot interpret it as black.”

In the interview, conducted by Dominic Faulder on May 29 at the co-premier’s Takhmau residence, Hun Sen also said he would step down from power if his party lost July’s scheduled elections, continued to oppose suggestions to push back the poll date, and said one month of ac­cess to the broadcast media is enough for opposition politicians.

Hun Sen also said he learned a lesson when Suharto stepped down from power May 21.

“There is [no alternative to] giving power to the people. Wea­pons, prisons, handcuffs are only short-term solutions,” Hun Sen was quoted as saying.

Separately, in his Cabinet’s newsletter, Hun Sen reiterated his support for a trial of Khmer Rouge leaders on charges of  crimes against humanity, but only after their organization is de­stroyed.

Drawing a parallel to the Nazi war criminals, he noted that “following World War II, the Hit­lerites could be brought to trial at Nuremberg only after their political and military organizations had been dismantled.”

He said this week in his Cam­bodian New Vision bulletin that the movement, though weakened in re­cent months, is alive.

“Although there is now news that Pol Pot is dead, still I notice that Pol Pot’s ideas are still being implemented by the Khmer Rouge hard-liners as their guidelines for activities,” Hun Sen was quoted as saying.

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