Ex-Cambodia opposition officials challenge politics ban

PHNOM PENH • Senior members of the now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have filed a complaint to the Supreme Court asking that it reopen last month's dissolution case to allow them to submit evidence, even though there is no legal recourse for appeal of a decision by the highest court.

In a near-universally condemned decision, the court ruled on Nov 16 to dissolve the country's main opposition, the CNRP, and to ban 118 of its officials from politics for five years.

"We are not satisfied with the verdict of the Supreme Court and are filing a complaint to demand the Supreme Court reopen the hearing," reads the new request, signed by former deputy president Pol Ham, chief whip Son Chhay and others.

The focus of the filing is on the decision to ban officials, which was made "without having summonsed them".

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chhin Malin said on Sunday that he expects the complaint to be dismissed.

"In this case, they are the victims - not because of the Supreme Court verdict, but because their party and leaders violated the law," Mr Malin said, adding that the verdict was "irrefutable".

According to legal expert Sok Sam Oeun, there is no channel by which a Supreme Court verdict can be appealed.

Prince Sisowath Thomico, a CNRP member who also signed the complaint, said that the ruling was politically motivated, and that the filing was "to show the Cambodian people and the international community that the ruling was unlawful".

THE PHNOM PENH POST / ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2017, with the headline 'Ex-Cambodia opposition officials challenge politics ban'. Print Edition | Subscribe