The Cambodian parliament on Feb. 20 amended the country’s 1998 Law on Political Parties to ban politicians with a criminal conviction from standing for election, the Phnom Penh Post and Cambodia Daily reported. The amendments also allow for the dissolution of parties that threaten state security or take part in activities such as secession promotion, incitement or recruitment of armed forces. Lawmakers with the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) boycotted the vote. Self-exiled CNRP President Sam Rainsy, who carries a defamation conviction seen as politically motivated, resigned from his position last week ostensibly to protect his party from the new rules. With an eye on upcoming elections, the government is seeking to sow divides between Rainsy and other opposition figures.