Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government moved Thursday to fill all parliamentary commissions with ruling party members as the opposition continued to boycott the legislature and stepped up calls for international intervention to resolve the country political crisis following disputed elections.
The appointments to the nine commissions were made in a unanimous parliamentary vote by ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) lawmakers in the absence of any opposition members.
The government action to fill the powerful positions in the nine panels came two weeks after the CPP-controlled parliament reappointed Hun Sen prime minister and endorsed his cabinet.
The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) has boycotted parliament since it convened for the first time last month after July 28 elections.
The CNRP refused to recognize the election victory of the CPP, which according to official results won 68 parliamentary seats to the CNRP’s 55, charging that the polls were tainted by fraud and other irregularities.
Thursday’s parliament meeting was not attended by Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cabinet Minister Sok An, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong, all of whom were in Brunei attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
CNRP President Sam Rainsy, who is in Europe on a trip to drum up support for U.N. and foreign intervention in the dispute over election results, said that the new appointments, like the ones last month, were an echo of Cambodia’s totalitarian past under the communist Khmer Rouge regime.
“The CPP is leading Cambodia in the same way as the communist style,” he told RFA’s Khmer Service.
“There is only one party in the government and in the National Assembly, and that’s a sign of communism,” he said.
Cheam Yeap, a senior CPP member and chair of the parliamentary Finance Commission, said the ruling party was acting according to the law in appointing commission members.