New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

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New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:41 am

The controversial amendments to the Law on Political Parties has now been signed by the Senate President in the king's absence. Among other things, the law gives the government the right to dissolve political parties at will, and to bar candidates who have been convicted of an offense. There is concern that it will be used to eliminate credible opposition party candidates or to dissolve the major opposition party, the CNRP, if they appear to be winning too many hearts and minds in the coming elections.

In the King’s name: Party Law amendments now official
Fri, 10 March 2017
Erin Handley

A raft of widely criticised amendments to the Law on Political Parties was signed in the King’s absence on Tuesday, documents circulated yesterday reveal.

The new law, which human rights observers have said is a “death knell for democracy” and a “triumph of dictatorship”, was signed by Senate President Say Chhum and circulated yesterday by Fresh News – an outlet often used by the government to disseminate documents.

King Norodom Sihamoni, whose signature marks the final step in the process for any law to be implemented, was in China for a medical checkup at the time of signing.

The new law forbids convicted criminals from holding leadership positions within a political party, and gives unprecedented powers to the Ministry of Interior, which can recommend the Supreme Court dissolve parties without an appeal. The impending amendments saw former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy resign, prompting a party leadership reshuffle.

The amendments were passed by the National Assembly, then approved by the Senate and Constitutional Council in less than three weeks.
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/k ... w-official

The new amendments:
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Re: New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:24 am

Even if you don't follow politics, expats should have an idea what is going on politically right now, and should know that commune elections are being held in Cambodia on 4 June 2017. What is happening now will affect the coming elections.

Here is a basic outline of the latest situation.
The government's latest attack against the CNRP ( major opposition party)is in the form of an attack on their electoral slogan : “Change commune chiefs who serve the party and replace them with commune chiefs who serve the people.”

To sum up, the slogan implicitly accuses CPP commune chiefs of putting their loyalty to the party before their duty to the people, and said CPP commune chiefs are complaining that the slogan is "inciting disunity", which is an offense under the recent new political law (Article 6, see above).
The penalty for such an offense may be the dissolution of the offending political party.
Government-aligned Fresh News started posting the complaints online on Tuesday night from CPP commune chiefs in Phnom Penh. It has since posted more than 300 from the capital and five provinces.

They all take aim at the campaign slogan the CNRP unveiled for the June 4 commune elections last week: “Change commune chiefs who serve the party and replace them with commune chiefs who serve the people.”

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan initially said the party would sue the CNRP—if it insists on sticking to the slogan—with the Law on Commune Administrative Management, which lays out the role and remit of commune officials. But he would not rule out using the amended Party Law.
It is going to be difficult to conduct a political campaign without "inciting disunity".
HE made no secret about the motive for the new law amendments, and it would not be surprising if he doesn't wait too long before using his new "legal" powers.
The government and courts now have broad new powers to suspend and dissolve political parties for vaguely worded offenses left open to interpretation, including “incitement that would lead to national disintegration.”

Prime Minister HE has said publicly that he wanted the new powers specifically to target the CNRP.


The CPP dominated the 2012 commune elections, winning over 70 percent of the vote and securing a commanding 1,592 of the 1,633 commune chief spots up for grabs. But that was before the CNRP was established, and it won nearly half the vote in national elections the next year.
https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/atta ... ct-126367/
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Re: New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:57 pm

Alice in the (Kingdom of) Wonderland ? Obey one law and you break another...
The government have passed a law which obliges all political parties to replace the head of party within 90 days, however a government minister now says that interior CNRP (opposition party) rules state that 18 months must pass before the head of the party is replaced, and therefore the election of Kem Sokha as leader is illegal (according to CNRP party rules.) Apparently internal opposition party rules must also be approved by the government.

Kheng queries Sokha’s validity
Wed, 15 March 2017
Meas Sokchea and Ananth Baliga

Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday, after becoming the latest ruling party official to weigh in on the CNRP’s embattled campaign slogan, went on to question the validity of the recent extraordinary congress that elevated Kem Sokha to party president.

At the inauguration of a new road in Kampong Speu, Kheng said he was unsure of the legality of the March 2 Cambodia National Rescue Party congress that moved Sokha to president and selected three new vice presidents – Pol Ham, Mu Sochua and Eng Chhay Eang.

The extraordinary congress was necessitated by the surprise resignation of former CNRP president Sam Rainsy in early February, ahead of ruling party amendments made to the Law on Political Parties to facilitate dissolution of parties whose leaders hold criminal convictions.
Under the revamped law, a president departing under the cloud of a criminal record must be replaced within a 90-day window.

But Kheng, referring to what appeared to be an outdated version of CNRP bylaws, said the ministry would check if the congress was valid, as the party’s statutes stipulated that a new president could be selected only 18 months after the presidency was vacated.

“Their congress was held after about two months. This duration is not over 18 months, so why did they select the president?” he asked.
“In this case they did not respect the statute. If so, it is difficult to recognise the CNRP.”

Sam Kuntheamy, head of election monitor Nicfec, said political parties were required to submit any amendments to their bylaws for approval by the Interior Ministry, but that the ministry should just approve them as a matter of course in this case.

If the bylaws were rejected, he argued, it would create a situation where the CNRP would suddenly not be recognised despite already being registered with the National Election Committee for the upcoming ballot.

“I think the Ministry of Interior should acknowledge the political situation. They can accept or reject the amendments, but if they don’t [accept them], the CNRP cannot [take part in] the elections,” he said...

Full article: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/k ... s-validity
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Re: New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby Duncan » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:10 pm

No matter what happens, it's on the cards that Cambodia will eventually end up with a one party system like our neighboring countries have .
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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Re: New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:28 pm

Rainsy claims King left ‘to avoid signing law’
Fri, 17 March 201

Sam Rainsy took to Facebook yesterday to praise King Norodom Sihamoni for being absent for the signing of amendments to the Law on Political Parties earlier this month, which he argued showed the King’s reluctance to rubber-stamp the controversial legislation.

After being passed by the National Assembly and Senate, the legislation was signed by Senate President and acting head of state Say Chhum on March 7, as the King – who usually signs laws into force – had departed for China for a medical checkup on March 3.
“King Norodom Sihamoni has recently left Cambodia for China in order to avoid signing off the undemocratic amendment to the law on political parties which practically allows the CPP to dissolve the CNRP any time,” Rainsy said in the post.

Royal Palace Minister Kong Sam Ol yesterday reiterated that the King was in China for his regular, biannual medical checkup and said people were free to make their own interpretations of his absence...
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/r ... igning-law

And nobody finds it strange that the King of Cambodia can not get a regular medical check-up in Cambodia.
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Re: RE: Re: New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:55 pm

Duncan wrote:No matter what happens, it's on the cards that Cambodia will eventually end up with a one party system like our neighboring countries have .
My thoughts exactly. I usually hope it never becomes as strict as say, Thailand, but the way things are going I don't know anymore.
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Re: New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:06 am

OIC. The uniqueness of Cambodian politics on display here with threats of ghosts and hauntings from an official spokesman.

Government Deems Kem Sokha’s Presidency Illegitimate
March 24, 2017

Interior Ministry officials said the CNRP’s promotion of Kem Sokha to party president and three officials to vice president violated internal party rules, issuing vague threats of legal consequences that could potentially imperil the standing of the opposition party’s candidates ahead of June commune elections.

In a letter sent on Wednesday by Interior Minister Sar Kheng to CNRP executive committee chairman Yim Sovann, he said the party’s reshuffle, which came about two weeks after Sam Rainsy resigned as party president, violated the party’s own bylaws, which mandates an 18-month gap before selecting the leader unless the position becomes vacant within 18 months of a national election.

The letter did not specify what action the government would take, and ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak on Thursday was cryptic about why the internal infraction merited government attention.

“Whether they take action or not, it’s not the ministry’s decision, but it is in the law,” General Sopheak said, declining to specify which law—if any—had allegedly been violated.

“What we told them is enough,” he said. “They will understand it. For example: There is a ghost in there, please don’t go inside. If you go, the ghost will haunt you.”...
https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/gove ... te-127015/
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Re: New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:47 am

UN Says Party Law Contravenes International Law, Calls for Overhaul
March 30, 2017

Breaking its silence on the government’s controversial am­endments to Cambodia’s Law on Political Parties, the U.N.’s human rights office this week said the changes breached several of the country’s obligations under international law—maybe even its own Constitution—and recommended a thorough overhaul.

“Several articles of the present law conflict with international standards on the rights to freedom of association and expression that are binding upon Cambodia,” the U.N. says in a human rights analysis of the amendments released on Wednesday.
https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/un-s ... ul-127260/
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Re: New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:23 am

The authorities appear to be quite firm in their determination to find a pretext to outlaw the CNRP opposition party.

Interior Ministry Says It Will Use New Party Law Against CNRP
March 31, 2017

The Interior Ministry inched closer to suspending or dissolving the CNRP on Thursday as it threatened to use the hastily passed Law on Political Parties against the opposition unless the CNRP took action—while refusing to specify what steps were required.

The newly amended party law, which sprinted through parliament despite an outcry from civil society, the CNRP, and, after the fact, the U.S., E.U. and most recently the U.N., allows the ministry to temporarily suspend any party, and petition the Supreme Court to dissolve it entirely in the event that the party’s infraction is “serious.”

The dispute centers on the ministry’s claim that the CNRP violated its own bylaws when it selected new leaders at a snap congress earlier this month...
https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/inte ... rp-127326/

Reasons given for refusing to accept the new opposition party leaders are arbitrary and deliberately vague, making it difficult or impossible to comply with Interior Ministry regulations.
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/c ... recognised
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Re: New Political Law Signed - Major Game Changer ?

Postby Luigi » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:03 am

In the final analysis of Cambodian politics what will be the end effect for expats in the Emperor For Life Kingdom? :unknown:

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