Phnom Penh, Sep 11 (IANS) The Cambodian parliament on Monday approved treason charges against opposition leader Kem Sokha, who faces 15 to 30 years in jail, following a vote by the ruling party.
Sokha is accused of conspiring with a foreign power against Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, reports Efe news.
The parliamentary session went ahead with the support of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), with a majority in the House, despite a boycott by the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), led by Sokha since February.
With 67 votes in favour and none against (among 123 seats), the Cambodian legislature lifted the politician’s parliamentary immunity.
Meanwhile, Hun Sen on Monday threatened to dissolve the CNRP if it continued its support for the accused.
Sokha’s arrest on September 3 has stripped the CNRP, Cambodia’s chief opposition party, of its leader ahead of general elections scheduled to be held on July 29, 2018.
In 2013, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia since 1985, renewed his term by winning with just a narrow margin in elections that were marred by accusations of fraud.