Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Consensus reached on local election law

Consensus reached on local election law

Consensus reached on local election law

The opposition and ruling parties yesterday agreed on changes to the commune election law after key demands by the Cambodia National Rescue Party negotiators were accepted by their counterparts.

Hailed on both sides as proof that the “culture of dialogue” continued between the political rivals, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng and CNRP president Sam Rainsy announced that, after nearly four months of negotiations, a consensus had been reached over amendments to the 2007 commune election law and changes to the internal rules of the National Assembly.

“This shows the culture of dialogue is active and progressive because we are able to give concessions to each other,” Rainsy said at a joint press conference at the National Assembly.

“We hope to have free and fair election to set the destiny for our future.”

Adding that teams had been working against the clock, Kheng added: “The meeting today shows both parties’ will to compromise on the draft law.”

Regarding the 16-chapter, 196-article commune election law, the outcome saw the CNRP prevail in its demand that punishments for candidate intimidation, vote buying and civil servants acting on behalf of political parties remain in the legislation, according to CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith.

It also secured the opposition’s right to extend campaign rally marches between communes, which the Cambodian People’s Party wanted banned for “security” reasons.

The campaigning period will be changed to 14 days, a slight compromise, with the CNRP wanting to keep the existing 15-day term and CPP negotiators pushing for 10, Ponhearith said.

The leaders also agreed upon the 16 chapters and 83 provisions of internal regulations for parliament, though few details were released.

During the press briefing, Rainsy also told journalists that he had asked Kheng to release several imprisoned CNRP members before Pchum Ben day, though Kheng said the topic was not on the agenda.


  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,