Despite recent assurances that parliamentary debate on a draft law to establish a trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders could begin this week, apparent confusion persisted on Monday as to when the debate will commence.
Monh Saphan, who heads the Legislative Commission at the National Assembly, has said his commission could not proceed without a briefing from the executive branch on agreements it reached with the UN.
He said he was told by the government’s chief negotiator, Minister of Cabinet Sok An, that the commission would be briefed when a high-level government delegation returned on Sunday from a donor meeting in Paris.
But by Monday afternoon, Monh Saphan said he had not heard from the government.
Om Yentieng, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s senior adviser, said the government cannot come and “explain the spirit of our negotiations with the UN” until they are invited by lawmakers.
He also said it might be better if the National Assembly debate waited until after the visit of chief UN negotiator Hans Corell.
Council of Ministers spokesman Khieu Thavika said Sok An is not yet scheduled to appear before the Legislation Commission, but he stressed that debate can begin before Corell’s arrival, if the Commission wishes.
Sok An is scheduled to travel to Singapore on Thursday with Prime Minister Hun Sen on an official visit.
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