Senators Expect Border Deal To Proceed Quickly

Senators from across the political spectrum on Sunday said they ex­pect­ed the controversial additional agreement to the 1985 border treaty to sail through the Senate, though a full debate has yet to be scheduled.

Opposition senators said they would oppose the agreement but said that resistance would be largely symbolic as there was no way for the opposition alone to stop the vote.

There are 32 CPP senators, 22 Funcinpec, seven Sam Rainsy Par­ty and two representing the Royal Family.

“We will use the [Senate] floor to confirm our stance against it,” said opposition Senator Kong Korm, who is also acting president of the Sam Rainsy Party.

“I will go, but I won’t vote for it,” said opposition Senator Chao Phally, adding that he hoped the government would seek legislative approval for any new maps of Cam­bodia drawn up as a result of the agreement’s passage.

“The Assembly passed it, it will pass the Senate,” predicted Fun­cin­pec Senator Chea Kim. “I support it,” he added.

But Funcinpec Senator Tea Chamrath said he had not yet made up his mind and would wait until after the Nov 18 debates on the treaty by three of the Senate’s nine commissions before deciding how to vote.

CPP Senator Chea Cheth said his views on the matter were already clear. “I support it 100 per­cent,” he said. “There has been no clear border since 1969. Now is the time to create a clear bor­der.”

Chea Cheth said he heard the Assembly debate and that further debate was therefore unnecessary.

Also on Sunday, retired King Nor­o­­dom Sihanouk reacted to news of the Assembly’s approval of the border deal. He wrote on his Web site that Mondolkiri prov­ince’s Dak Dam—an area left unresolved by the newly-approved agreement—was part of Cambodia during his rule.

(Additional reporting by Michael Cowden)

 

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