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CNRP leaders Kem Sokha (left) and Sam Rainsy (right)
CNRP leaders Kem Sokha (left) and Sam Rainsy (right) talk to Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng yesterday at the National Assembly during a meeting to discuss the selection of candidates for the NEC. Vireak Mai

Parties discuss NEC

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy and Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng yesterday met to discuss the selection of members for the new National Election Committee, but declined to comment on the substance of their talks.

Instead, the majority and minority party leaders in the National Assembly said that their discussions had gone smoothly according to the “culture of dialogue” and told reporters to wait until the assembly votes on the committee’s nine members on April 13.

“The culture of dialogue means finding understanding with each other, finding concessions with each other and finding an appropriate resolution that both parties can accept,” Rainsy said.

“The enforcement of this culture made us successful in completing election [reform] work.”

The parties will discuss who the committee’s nine members will be in a meeting today, he added.

The new NEC will consist of four members chosen by each party and a mutually agreed-upon candidate. The ninth member was last week revealed to be Hang Puthea of elections watchdog Nicfec, after rights activist Pung Chhiv Kek refused to join the body.

Neither leader elaborated on how next Monday’s assembly vote will proceed, though the ruling CPP’s parliamentary majority will in theory allow them to reject any opposition CNRP candidate that they disagree with, as well as to select one of their own members as NEC president.

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