Assembly Won’t Vote on Punishing Son Soubert

The case of National Assembly Second Vice President Son Soubert will not be decided by parliamentary vote, the Assembly’s acting president said Sunday.

Loy Sim Chheang said the Assembly’s permanent committee had decided not to ask lawmakers to vote on whether Son Soubert should retain his post, as the parliament is already behind on key electoral legislation.

“We don’t have the time to take this action,” Loy Sim Chheang said by telephone. “We have a duty to pass three more laws before the election.”

Son Soubert caused an uproar in parliament last month when he referred to July’s factional fighting as a “coup d’etat.”

About 35 lawmakers called for his resignation as a result, and when Son Soubert refused, the parliamentarians considered demoting him.

Contacted Sunday, Son Soubert said he was “neither pleased [nor] not pleased” by the permanent committee’s decision, maintaining that his only concern was that the Assembly adhered to the rule of law.

Asked if he would use the controversial term in the future, Son Soubert said: “I will never hesitate. I would have called it the same thing whichever side had done it….It is a question of law, it is not a political gesture.”

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