Constitutional Council president Im Chhun Lim said that since the Constitution was promulgated on September 24, 1993, it has become the foundation for peace and political stability in the country and has allowed for vast development over the past 20 years.
Chhun Lim made the remarks while presiding over the opening ceremony of a conference celebrating the 27th anniversary of Cambodia’s Constitution on Wednesday at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra hotel.
He said the Constitution is an achievement borne out of the common will of the Cambodian people, which was expressed through the 1993 general election.
“This Constitution has become the foundation of political stability, legal framework and institutional framework on liberal democracy, pluralism and the rule of law, making Cambodia now fully peaceful and a stable State with high economic growth over the past two decades,” Chhun Lim said.
Also, he said the adaptation of modern constitutional values into Cambodian society needs a suitable time to create conditions for all members of society to have the qualifications and ability to properly understand modern values.
People, he said, must know the realities of society itself, its advantages, the potential dangers to the nation, and understand the line that must not be crossed to jointly develop values of modern constitutionalism to be firmly rooted in Cambodian society.
At the same time, society must be created in a Khmer context and preserve the traditional culture of the nation.
Chhun Lim said any evaluation of the implementation of the Constitution that is based on the one-sided criteria of modern values will lead to injustice to practitioners who have striven to achieve many great things in the nation.
Likewise, he said any evaluation of the implementation of the Constitution based only on Khmer values will lead to quality problems in the implementation of constitutional values in the context of globalisation and modern political, economic, social, cultural, and technological ideas.
“Therefore, to measure the process of implementing the Cambodian Constitution to be fair and equitable for society, it is necessary to take into account the Western ideology and also consider the traditional character of Cambodia.
“Only then can we be optimistic and broad-minded in evaluating the implementation of the Constitution in Cambodia,” Chhun Lim said.
Democratic Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun said the Constitution is a guide for the development of Cambodia and a foundation for Cambodia to build peace.
“On the 27th anniversary of the promulgation of the Constitution, it is a wonderful day for our people to take a moment to look back on the process of implementing and following our constitutional path.
“The Constitution is about rebuilding the nation into an island of peace based on a liberal, multi-party democracy, ensuring respect for human rights, the rule of law and accountability for the nation’s destiny,” he said.
However, Chanroeun sees that in recent years, the state of the democratic and political process, respect for human rights and the rule of law seemed to be deteriorating.
This situation is in line with the claims of the victims of abuse, the development partners and international community who have helped Cambodia since the Paris Peace Agreements on October 23, 1991.
Constitutional Council spokesman Prom Vicheth Akara said on Wednesday that it is important to ensure that the people respect, remember and continue to implement the spirit of the Constitution.
“In Cambodian society since 1993, political, economic and other issues have changed, but what Cambodia can guarantee is that a Constitution has been in place for the last 27 years, people are living in complete peace and security, and their freedoms are protected,” Vicheth Akara said.