Phnom Penh (FN), Sep. 3 – Son Chhay, one of the highest-ranking members of the court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), and two other officials, Tav Kim Chhorn and Var Samon, were politically rehabilitated by Cambodian King, according to the separate royal decrees seen by Fresh News on Thursday.

The royal decrees were issued following requests made by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

On 27 August 2020, Son Chhay, Chorn, and Samon requested for the government pardon so they could re-enter politics after they were banned from politics for three years.

A total of 118 former CNRP officials were banned from engaging in political activities for five years when the Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP on 16 November 2017 for “attempting to overthrow the government through a colour revolution”.

To strengthen democracy and political space in the Kingdom, the government amended law on political party to pave ways for former opposition to re-engage in politics.

The amended Article 45 of law on political party allowed the banned individual to request for rehabilitations from the King through Prime Minister or Minister of Interior.

As of 3 September 2020, at least 11 of the banned politicians were rehabilitated, including former top advisor Kong Korm and lawmaker Kong Bora, rehabilitated on 15 January 2019; Sim Vanny on 2 March 2019; former Svay Rieng representative Real Khemarin on 18 March 2019; former CNRP lawmakers Ou Chanrath, Kang Kimhak, Chiv Kata, Tep Sothy, and former party board member Chan Seila were rehabilitated on 19 March 2019; and former lawmaker Son Chhay, Tav Kim Chhorn, and Var Samon on 3 September 2020.