Some 27 Sam Rainsy Party lawmakers and senators have signed a letter supporting King Norodom Sihanouk’s request for a Constitutional amendment that would remove the King of his role as protector of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The letter, dated Monday, was signed by opposition leader Sam Rainsy and addressed to the King.
The party is “wholeheartedly in favor of amending the Constitution as demanded by the King,” it read. “Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians are ready and willing to attend any session of the [new] National Assembly…to pass all necessary amendments.”
The letter added: “It is simply nonsensical to hold someone responsible for anything without giving them power or means to carry out the responsibilities.”
Under the Constitution, the King is the guarantor of Cambodia’s independence and territorial integrity. As chair of the Supreme Council of Magistracy, he is also guarantor of the independence of the country’s judiciary.
King Sihanouk, however, posted a statement on his Web site Friday, saying he could not be held responsible for Cambodia’s borders and its judges because he holds no power under the Constitution.
“If there is no power, how can [I] be responsible? The power is in the hands of the Royal Cambodian Government,” he wrote. “The government and the National Assembly should be responsible for the misconduct of the judges.”