Phnom Penh (FN), March 19 – Samdech Say Chhum, Acting Head of State and President of Senate, granted the rights to re-enter politics to five more former opposition leaders of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), according to the separate royal decrees dated Tuesday.

The five from the dissolved CNRP sent letters to Ministry of Interior requesting for rehabilitations, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told Fresh News Monday afternoon.

The five includes Ou Chanroth; Tep Suthy; Kang Kimhak; Chiv Kata; and Chan Deilea.

Ou Chanroth, former lawmaker, told Fresh News that he will organize a press conference when rehabilitation granted to him.

The amended Article 45 of law on political party stipulated that “Individual whom the court banned from doing political activities could not create a new party, or participate in any other political parties, or be a candidate for others to vote, or do any activities to support or oppose other parties.

The law added that "the banned individual will receive absolute rights to legally participate in political activities when banning expired as determined by the Supreme Court’s verdict, or in the case that individual has been rehabilitated by His Majesty King."

It is worth noting that 118 of 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”.

As of today, nine of the banned politicians from the dissolved CNRP have re-entered politics, including former top advisor Kong Korm and lawmaker Kong Bora, rehabilitated on 15 January 2019; opposition member Sim Sovanny, known as Sim Vanny, rehabilitated on 2 March 2019; and this Monday, Khemarin was the fourth to re-enter politics.

The rehabilitation is widely seen as the government’s move to strengthen democracy and political space.