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Televise NA sessions, Kem Sokha proposes

Ruling and opposition party representatives yesterday agreed that National Assembly sessions should be televised and aired on radio to give Cambodians a greater window into the work of their elected representatives.

The proposal was raised by CNRP deputy president Kem Sokha during a seminar on information and communication technologies run by France’s Assemblee Parliamentaire De La Francophonie’s (APF) Noria program.

Sokha, president of the APF’s Cambodia branch and deputy president of the National Assembly, said Cambodia should follow the example of France, Germany and other developed countries by broadcasting senate and parliamentary sessions.

He also called for the release of transcripts of debates and sessions of parliamentary commissions.

“Voters must know that their representatives have been acting in the nation’s interest,” Sokha said. “[With television], people can see the activities of their representatives, what they are doing, and what is happening in the assembly.”

Ruling party lawmaker Kep Chuktema, another participant in the seminar, agreed.

“This is an idea that must be considered, because the assembly, as an independent legislature, has a very important role to [oversee] the executive branch,” Chuktema said.

A recent report by government watchdog Comfrel found lawmakers often approved legislation with little or no debate, while parliamentary commission sessions, held behind closed doors, lacked transparency.

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