Opposition leader Sam Rainsy called on the National Assembly to restitute the parliamentary immunity to MPs Mu Sochua and Ho Vann

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Khmer Sthabna
Translated from Khmer by Socheata

Two opposition MPs, Mrs. Mu Sochua and Mr. Ho Vann, who lost their parliamentary immunity (on 22 May 2009) and who was sentenced in defamation and disinformation lawsuits, seem to have difficulties looking for arrangement with high-ranking CPP officials to obtain their agreement to restitute their parliamentary immunity back. The National Assembly is currently controlled by CPP MPs.

On 10 September, Kampot SRP MP Mu Sochua unabashedly criticized the Cambodian government and the Cambodian parliament in front of US Congressmen, and she asked the US Congress to intervene with the Cambodian parliament to restitute her immunity back, as well as that of MP Ho Vann.

However, on 14 September, during the Prek Kdam bridge inauguration, Hun Sen said that those who tell lies about Cambodia, they will go to the lowest level of hell. Furthermore, those who live outside Cambodia, they can actually watch on the Cambodian TV showing the various achievements and they will not be fooled by these lies [KI-Media note: All the TV stations in Cambodia are controlled by the CPP].

Hun Xen said that these people should stop lying because they can go to hell, as this is the Pchum Ben season, and [after going to hell], they will never be able to return back.

Ou Virak, President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), told reporters at the National Assembly building (15 September 2009) that, regarding defamation lawsuits, the court should not ask for a lifting of parliamentary immunity from MPs, and this action does not have a clear basis besides serving as an act of intimidation.

Ou Virak added that Mrs. Mu Sochua and Mr. Ho Vann must automatically receive their immunity back without having to wait for the restitution of their immunity by the National Assembly, even if their immunities have been lifted already by a request made by the court because tens of thousands of people voted for them, but unfortunately [with these defamation and disinformation lawsuits], these MPs lost their ability to fulfill their mandate as representatives of the people.

Sam Rainsy told reporters in front of the National Assembly (on 15 September 2009) that a large number of democrats demand for the restitution of the parliamentary immunity for these two SRP MPs, because MPs have the right to talk about any issue without having to face pressure or the lifting of their immunities. Sam Rainsy indicated: “Therefore, we demand for a restitution of the parliamentary immunity for the MPs who lost them.”

Sam Rainsy indicated that the CPP with 90 seats at the National Assembly can stir storms and thunders as much as they want.

Hun Sen used to say that the lifting of SRP MP Mu Sochua is as easy a peeling a banana, but its restitution is difficult because the opposition does not have the necessary votes to restitute it back. However, Hun Xen told the SRP to replace [Mrs. Mu Sochua] with someone else, then maybe this could receive support from the National Assembly.


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