Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Big election role suggested for King



Big election role suggested for King

Big election role suggested for King

C AMBODIA's next election should be run by an independent commission headed by

the King, and the armed forces put under his control during the election period,

according to First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

Ranariddh -

who stressed he was expressing his personal view only - outlined his proposals

for the next election to a meeting of Cambodian human rights groups on April

29.

He said the election, due in 1998, should be run by Cambodians

themselves with three key conditions.

"One, there should be an

independent commission to be presided over by His Majesty the King, as the

father of the nation.

"Secondly, all armed forces - military and police -

must be...independent and neutral and put under direct control of the King, not

of any government.

"The third condition is that governors of [all]

provinces, districts and sub-districts must really be neutral," Ranariddh

said.

He believed the 1998 election could be free, fair and democratic if

these conditions were met.

Cambodian parliamentarians were recently urged

by two visiting foreign experts to begin preparing for the next election, to

ensure it could be held on time.

Cambodia's constitution says an

electoral organizing body and the procedures for holding elections must be

defined by an electoral law. No such law has yet been prepared.

There has

also been debate over what type of electoral system was best for Cambodia, but

Prince Ranariddh did not touch on that issue in his comments.

He did,

however, express the hope that the party which won the elections should form a

coalition government, in order to provide stability to the country.

But

he continued: "The winner should deserve some pride as well. There should be

transparency, there should be something in conformity with the real will the

people express through that free, fair and democratic

election."

Ranariddh's Funcinpec party, despite winning the most votes at

Cambodia's 1993 United Nations-run elections, is frequently claimed by observers

to have less real power than its coalition partner, the Cambodian People's

Party.

Meanwhile, at his meeting with human rights groups, Ranariddh also

faced questioning about the government's bid to have the United Nations Center

for Human Rights (UNCHR) in Cambodia "phased out".

He threw his support

behind the UNCHR, though he complained of its attitude toward the government in

the past.

"We enthusiastically welcome the continued presence of the

center.

"But, we have been disappointed [at UNCHR's] unfair treatment of

us. We should have had discussion about the problems, rather than to make

reports [of allegations]. We want the center to be our friend."

The

Co-Prime Ministers wrote to the UN in March, seeking the UNCHR's withdrawal at

the end of the year. Several senior government officials have since said they do

not mind if it stays in Cambodia.

UN undersecretary-general Marrack

Goulding arrived in Cambodia in early May to investigate whether the UNCHR

should remain after its March 1996 mandate expires.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese