Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Get out of Here

The SRP expelled two of their parliamentarians, one MP and one Senator, from their ranks for disloyalty. The affected politicians claimed they were kicked out to make room for some relatives of SRP higher-ups, otherwise known as nepotism. Critics of the party have accused the SRP of nepotism before, leveled even at their revered leader Sam Rainsy.

Claims and counter-claims, accusations and denials; these are the hallmarks of political life everywhere. So this incident is not really noteworthy for its happening; but I believe what is noteworthy is the fact that the SRP has no qualms about expelling members that it feels are no longer of value to the party. Also noteworthy is that, according to press reports, the party leadership made the decision. I am not sure what kind of inner-party procedures are set down in their by-laws but it reeks of an arbitrary decision – and this from a party that always portrays itself as the truly democratic political party in Cambodia.

The expelled ex-members indicated they would bring a lawsuit against the party. The party spokesman stated in response that the courts do not have jurisdiction over intra-party affairs. This spokesman is an MP himself and one must scratch one’s head and possibly raise an eyebrow or two at such pronouncements. An MP who is not cognizant of the fact that courts always have jurisdiction over disputes, no matter whom or what it involves, should probably seek employment elsewhere. You can bring a lawsuit against anybody if it is based on existing law. Of course, the outcome of that lawsuit is another question altogether.

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