Sam Rainsy Lost his Parliamentary Immunity26 Feb 2009
By Leang Delux (Cambodge Soir Hebdo )
He challenges the decision of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly to lift his parliamentary immunity, and plans to write to the king asking him to pardon.
The Standing Committee of the National Assembly has shown a remarkable speed in deciding, Thursday 26 February, to lift the parliamentary immunity of Sam Rainsy, at the request of the Minister of Justice, Hang Vong Ratana. The leader of the opposition becomes a citizen like any other, although it has been condemned by the National Electoral Committee, to pay a fine of 10 million riels (U.S. $ 2 400), for having criticized the leaders of the PPC, during the legislative July 2008.
Chheang Vun, PPC member, member of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, confirmed that decision. "Under the Constitution, during the vacancy of the National Assembly, the Standing Committee can make that decision and inform the House plenary session," he said to "Cambodge Soir Hebdo." However, Article 80 of the Constitution provides an additional step: "The decision of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly must be submitted at the next plenary session for adoption by a majority of two thirds of its members. "
The Standing Committee plans to write to the Minister of Justice informing him of its decision to lift the immunity of Sam Rainsy.
Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition denies: "I have not lost my immunity because the Assembly has not yet decided in plenary session, the Standing Committee has no right to take this decision. "
Sam Rainsy criticized the process: "I take a while because I called the Constitutional Council to examine whether decisions condemning me are in accordance with the Constitution," he says.
The President of the PSR account out of this impasse by a spin: "I will write to the king gracie for me and I will pay 10 million riels to the Kanta Bopha Hospital. "
In 2005, Sam Rainsy had already lost his parliamentary immunity after defaming Norodom Ranariddh