Radio Free Asia 20th June 2008
Translated by Khmerization
The EU has on Friday said that the plan to lift Mr. Sam Rainsy’s parliamentary immunity has been postponed.
The head of the EU’s Election Observation Mission and also an EU parliamentarian, Mr. Martin Callanan, who had just arrived in Cambodian and who had a meeting with Foreign Minister, Mr. Hor Namhong, who is the plaintiff of defamation suit against Mr. Sam Rainsy (pictured), said on Thursday afternoon that Mr. Hor Namhong had agreed to postpone this matter.
Mr Callanan said: “I had a meeting with Mr. Hor Namhong and I raised the issue of a possible lifting of Mr. Sam Rainsy’s parliamentary immunity and Mr. Hor Namhong has assured me that the lifting of Mr. Sam Rainsy’s parliamentary immunity will not be proceeded before the election.”
Speaking in the press conference in the same afternoon, Mr. Callanan had offered some advice to Cambodian politicians in these terms: “As a politician we must expect to face all sorts of information that will affect us, whether it is true or not. So we must learn how to live with those kinds of untrue information because we are politicians.”
Recently, a Phnom Penh Court has requested to the National Assembly for the suspension of Mr. Sam Rainsy’s parliamentary immunity for accusing Foerign Minister Hor Namhong of being a chief of the Boeng Trabek Prison during the Khmer Rouge regime.
The request to strip Mr. Sam Rainsy of his parliamentary immunity has raised some concerns which the EU thinks will affect the upcoming election. The EU said that it will send 130 electoral observers from 22 countries to Cambodia in the upcoming weeks.
All EU’s electoral observers will work with all political parties starting from now in order to ensure that the election is conducted in a free manner and on par with the international standard. //