Cambodian assembly approves charter changes

Civil society groups say amendments are designed to secure power for Hun Sen’s family and cronies.

Cambodia’s National Assembly has approved a draft on constitutional amendments which civil society and human rights groups say will entrench the power of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and enable him to hand power to his eldest son.

Some 105 members attended the plenary session and unanimously voted in favor of draft constitutional amendments. There are 125 seats in the National Assembly; all are controlled by Hun Sen’s long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).

Parties that contested the recent commune elections — including the Candlelight Party, the Grassroots Democratic Party, the Cambodian Reform Party and the Khmer Will Party — have petitioned the assembly, calling on members to reject the proposed amendments.

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