Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP to cast single ballot to form new NA, government

CPP to cast single ballot to form new NA, government

CPP to cast single ballot to form new NA, government

Party officials say block vote would reduce chances of a hung ballot; opposition claims it betrays divisions within ruling party

THE Cambodian People's Party, with a clear parliamentary majority, expects to use a single block vote to both usher in the National Assembly and create a new government when the body convenes on September 24.

The move has drawn fire from opposition groups, but government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said the CPP  employed the same tactic in 2004, when party members confirmed both the National Assembly and government with one ballot.

"During the last mandate, we voted in one block. We will do the same this time to avoid difficulties," said Khieu Kanharith, who also serves as information minister.

Opposition leaders and human rights activists, however, say the block vote method is unconstitutional and contradicts fundamental democratic principles.

"These are sovereign institutions and cannot be voted on in a package," said Thun Saray, president of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC) and the NGO Adhoc. "It is shameful. No other country operates this way."

Thun Saray said the call for a block vote suggested the CPP had internal divisions they did not want exposed should parliamentarians be allowed to vote separately.

"The CPP has a clear mandate with 90 seats. It would be easy for them to create these two bodies independently," he said.

Kem Sokha, president of the opposition Human Rights Party, said Tuesday the decision betrayed a growing lack of confidence within the CPP.

"They are cutting the head to fit the hat," he said.

Son Chhay, a Sam Rainsy Party  parliamentarian, said the law clearly states the National Assembly must be created first by a separate vote before confirming a new government. "The father must be born before the child," he said.

But Khieu Kanharith affirmed the party's right to employ the block vote, while denying divisions within the CPP.

"We will continue to vote in this way because the constitution does not prohibit it."

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • NOCC to contest petanque, tennis axe

    The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia will lobby hard over the next few weeks for the inclusion of the Kingdom’s most productive medal-earning sport, petanque, along with vovinam and tennis after the disciplines were left out of the initial list of 30 preferred sports for