Sans Opposition, Senate Passes Three More Laws

The Senate on Monday approved the $26.6 billion 2014 to 2018 National Strategic Development Plan in its fifth session since last year’s national election, as senators from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party continue to boycott the legislature.

The Senate’s 42 CPP senators also passed an extradition agreement between Cambodia and Vietnam, and a law on cooperation in civil cases between the two countries, according to a statement from the Senate.

All 11 senators from the SRP, which in 2012 merged with the Human Rights Party to form the CNRP, continue to boycott the Senate in protest of the 2013 national election result.

SRP President Kong Korm said in a statement on Sunday that the Senate should not pass laws until the boycott ends.

“With the single-party parliament consisting of only CPP lawmakers and the current illegitimate government, the Senate should reject and void the draft laws or any suggested laws,” he said.

Senate Secretary-General Um Sarith, however, pointed to recent grants and loans to the Cambodian government from foreign countries such as the U.S., Japan and Germany as evidence that the government is legitimate.

“The international community would not give us loans and aid if the government was not legitimate,” he said.

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