Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP open to meetings with parties, if ‘clear agenda’ set

CPP open to meetings with parties, if ‘clear agenda’ set

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan Hong Menea

CPP open to meetings with parties, if ‘clear agenda’ set

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) welcomed four political parties’ request for a meeting to discuss election mechanism reform, but insisted that the meeting must have a clear agenda.

The four parties – Candlelight (CP), Grassroots Democratic (GDP), Khmer Will (KWP) and Cambodia Reform (KRP) – have also proposed meetings with the National Assembly (NA), Ministry of Interior and the National Election Committee (NEC).

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said a clear agenda is needed in order for the proposed meeting to bear fruit.

“It’s the key … If the four parties just want to discuss their claims of polling station doors being closed during the recent ballot counting, what can we say about that?” he said in reference to the June 5 commune council elections.

“If the doors were closed while political party agents and observers stayed in the rooms, who could rig the votes? In general, they talk only about the closing windows of polling stations but failed to mention the fact that their agents were also present there.”

He said doors or windows at polling stations could be closed depending on weather conditions, but the parties did not mention this factor.

“But in case the doors were closed during ballot counting and national and international observers were not allowed in, then they have the right to file a complaint immediately. That is the NEC procedure,” he said.

KWP president Kong Monika saw Eysan’s opening to the four parties’ proposed meeting as a positive sign.

“We wanted to meet the ruling party, but [Eysan] reportedly told the media that the CPP did not want to meet with any political party,” he said.

He said if the meeting with the CPP took place, the parties would include proposals that would improve the electoral system and political freedom in Cambodia.

“After receiving this positive sign from the ruling party spokesman, we will now begin to plan this meeting, as the CPP has enough votes to go ahead and amend relevant laws to improve the electoral system and political freedom in Cambodia,” he said.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said it is normal for those who ask for a meeting to adapt to the side with which they want to confer.

“Once they request a meeting and the general conditions are set, they need to soften their hearts because the CPP side does not need the four parties. In general, for a meeting to be successful, both sides need to feel that the meeting is a constructive and helpful dialogue for all.

“If the purpose of the meeting is to make one side lose face or feel defeated, I don’t think the meeting will ever happen,” he said.

Phea said the four parties should come up with a softer psychological approach to meeting with the CPP.

“We have to acknowledge that the CPP does not need to meet with any other political parties. The CPP is a major party with a strong structure at every level, including the grassroots. They have a lot of resources and are holding power. If any party wants to meet with the CPP, they have to show goodwill and want to see progress and constructive dialogue. If they meet those requirements, I think the meeting is possible,” he said.

The four parties had recently met with the NEC and proposed 16 points, most of which were rejected. That included their request for the NEC to withdraw its lawsuit against CP vice-president Son Chhay.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Representatives of the four political parties. Hong Menea

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10