Sam Rainsy Stirs Up Assembly

Influential CPP lawmaker Chhuor Leang Huot was taken to a doctor following a heated ex­change with opposition party leader Sam Rainsy in the National Assembly Monday. Chhuor Leang Huot suffered from a stroke last year that left him partially paralyzed. He continues to battle high blood pressure.

Early in the session, CPP lawmakers blasted Sam Rainsy, yell­ing profanities when the opposition leader spoke for longer than his allotted 20 minutes and deviated from the subject of AIDS legislation to accuse the government of “very corrupt and destructive ways.”

During the session, the assembly overwhelmingly approved legislation providing for the confidentiality of blood test results for patients found to be HIV positive.

The emotional outburst came after Sam Rainsy alleged that the government’s poverty reduction plan was to let the nation’s poor die off from poverty and AIDS.

“The government always say that they will reduce poverty, but they just let the poor die…and when they see that the poor are gone, they say that the poverty reduction plan was [successful],” he said.

Sam Rainsy also criticized the government for not doing enough to stop human trafficking, corruption and human rights  abuses.

His comments drew abrupt and angry reactions from CPP lawmakers Chhuor Leang Huot and Ek Sam Ol. The lawmakers were heard yelling obscenities at Sam Rainsy and asking that someone should “drag him away and beat him up.”

The incident, lawmakers said, aggravated Chhuor Leang Huot’s high blood pressure.

National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh tried to intervene and stop Sam Rain­sy’s accusations. “It is time for you to stop talking,” the prince said in a shaky voice.

After the session Prince Rana­riddh said the tensions were “not serious,” but reminded Sam Rain­sy that if he continues to ignore time limits for speeches, “I will use my rights to ask you to leave the assembly.” He added that nobody should deviate from the topics being discussed.


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