PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A senior leader of Cambodia’s opposition party has been removed as the vice-president of parliament in an unexpected vote that was attended only by the ruling party and boycotted by his supporters.
The removal of Kem Sokha by a 68-0 vote is the result of maneuvering by Prime Minister Hun Sen to get rid of his most bitter critic.
Friday’s vote was not on the National Assembly’s agenda, and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party members were taken aback when it was announced. All 55 lawmakers of the CNRP boycotted the vote in the 123-member house.
Hun Sen and his party members have long been campaigning to remove Kem Sokha, and recently two CNRP lawmakers were severely beaten by a mob calling for Kem Sokha’s resignation.