PHNOM PENH, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's law on the state of emergency was signed by Acting Head of State Samdech Say Chhum on Wednesday, going into effect immediately, according to a royal decree.
Endorsed by Chhum on behalf of King Norodom Sihamoni who has been in Beijing, capital of China for a routine medical checkup, the royal decree said the law was promulgated after it had been adopted by the National Assembly and the Senate as well as approved by the Constitutional Council.
Cambodia made the law after the country has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases earlier this month. The Southeast Asian nation has so far recorded a total of 122 confirmed cases of the COVID-19, with 119 patients cured.
Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said that the law was made based on Article 22 of the Constitution, which stated that "when the nation faces danger, the King shall make a proclamation to the people putting the country in a state of emergency after agreement with the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate."
He said a state of emergency will be declared when the nation faces dangers such as war or foreign invasion, public health concerns caused by pandemics, serious chaos to national security and public order, and severe calamity.
Hun Sen added that Article 22 of the Constitution has not stipulated measures to govern the country after a state of emergency is declared, so the law is crucial to give the government powers to take all necessary measures to govern the kingdom in a state of emergency.
"It aims to protect national security and public order, people's lives and health, properties and environment," he said.
The bill stated a number of measures including the prohibition or restriction of freedom of movement, and freedom of gathering.
It also allowed the government to lock down public or private spaces in order to respond to any emergency, and it also stated penalties for violators. Enditem