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Cambodia passes law barring political parties from having links with convicted criminals

Cambodia:  The Cambodia's National Assembly has passed a bill barring political parties from having links with convicted criminals, a move aimed at keeping the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party from capitalising on its association with its popular former leader, Sam Rainsy.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The longstanding leader of the opposition movement, Sam Rainsy, was  sentenced to five years in prison in absentia in December, last year for posting a fake government pledge to dissolve the Southeast Asian country's border with Vietnam.

Rainsy was convicted of criminal defamation and similar offenses by courts generally seen as politically biased. He resigned from his party leadership and membership in February 2016 after a law was passed making parties liable for dissolution if their leaders had criminal convictions.

Following which, Rainsy forced into self-exile and under pressure from the mounting number of court cases brought against him.

The Monday amendments of the law on political parties was boycotted by the opposition, but passed unanimously by all 66 lawmakers present from the ruling Cambodian People's Party. The amendments need approval from the ruling party-controlled Senate, a simple formality.

Updated Date: Jul 10, 2017 12:13 PM

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