Cambodian opposition lawmakers to boycott parliamentary session on NGO draft bill

GMT 12:57 2015 Sunday ,12 July

Arab Today, arab today Cambodian opposition lawmakers to boycott parliamentary session on NGO draft bill

parliamentary session on NGO draft bill
Phnom Penh - XINHUA

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) announced Sunday that its 55 lawmakers will boycott a parliamentary session on Monday, which is scheduled to debate and pass a draft law on Associations and Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

"All CNRP lawmakers will boycott a parliament's plenary session on July 13, 2015, which is stated for the adoption of the draft law on Associations and NGOs," said a party's statement.

The statement called on the parliament to scrap the government- proposed draft bill, claiming that it would put pressure and impose restrictions on the freedoms of associations and NGOs.

The opposition declared its boycott after the parliament announced Friday that it would hold a plenary session on July 13, 2015 to debate and pass the draft bill.

Currently, there are about 5,000 associations and NGOs operating in Cambodia, according to the government's figures.

Under the proposed law, associations and NGOs will be required to register their nationalities with the government in order to have legal standing and must file reports on their activities and finances each year to the government.

It also allows the government to delete the name of any association or NGO, which has conducted any action that jeopardizes peace, stability and public order, or harms national security, unification, culture, traditions and custom.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said last month that the law would target to fight against terrorism financing, money laundering and creation of illegal armed forces.

"Associations and NGOs should not worry about this law. It will protect you, support you, and open up to your activities," he said.

The parliament comprises 123 lawmakers, including 68 from the Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party and 55 from the opposition CNRP.

To pass a law, this legislative body needs a 50 percent plus one majority vote, or 63 votes only.

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