PHNOM PENH—Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Thursday that the ruling party would propose that parliament amend the Law on Political Parties to ban convicts from serving as president of a party.
“Prisoners will not be allowed to be the president of a political party,” the prime minister said in a speech during a university graduation ceremony here.
He said the proposed amendment would also include a provision that would allow the Constitutional Council to dismantle any political party whose leaders make a “big mistake”.
The prime minister said that under the current law, any political party receiving funds from foreign governments would face a fine of only 3 million riel (USD750), but under the proposed amendment, any party found getting funds from foreign countries would be suspended or dissolved
Hun Sen said the proposed amendment “does not specifically target any political party, but for all.”
Currently, Sam Rainsy, president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has been living in exile in France since Nov. 2015 to avoid a two-year prison sentence over a defamation charge.
In Dec. 2016, a Cambodian court also sentenced him in absentia to another five years in prison for conspiring to incite chaos in the country for posting fake documents on his Facebook page.
Cambodia’s parliament comprises 123 seats, including 68 for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and 55 for the CNRP.
To amend a law, the parliament needs a 50 percent plus one majority vote, or 63 votes, only.