The ruling and opposition parties continue to disagree over whether judicial officials and members of the armed forces should be allowed to take part in political campaigning, they told reporters following the latest round of biweekly election reform talks yesterday at the National Assembly.
The ruling CPP believes soldiers and court officials should be able to campaign out of uniform and after working hours, but the opposition CNRP disagrees, citing provisions in the political parties law that bans them from taking political sides.
“Because the armed forces are the armed forces of the whole nation and do not belong to any party, if [they] do activity to support and oppose [parties], it could affect the principles of [free] elections and make people afraid,” CNRP working group head Kuoy Bunroeun said.
But his CPP counterpart Bin Chhin countered that it was a matter of “rights”, and that the political party law also states that monks, court officials and soldiers can be party members.
Comfrel executive director Koul Panha said he supported the CNRP’s interpretation of the law.