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Election laws to get ‘no more’ discussion

Two new laws governing elections and the functioning of the National Election Committee are expected to be passed without further debate during a session of parliament later this week.

Representatives of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party announced the decision yesterday, despite opposition to the current drafts from election watchdogs.

Kuoy Bunroeun, head of the CNRP working group, said there would be “no more discussion” of the laws because they had already been agreed on by both parties last week. Sik Bun Hok, a CPP lawmaker, could not confirm that the current drafts would remain intact, but said “we are in a hurry to pass this law”.

The Election Reform Alliance (ERA), a group of 60 nongovernmental election monitors, boycotted a public forum last week where the drafts were presented. Koul Panha, executive director of Comfrel, a member of the ERA, urged the parties to reconsider and amend the laws.

“It affects civil society, and also the rights of parties and observers,” he said. “The parties must resolve this problem.”

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