Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP invites opposition to talk reforms at forum

CPP invites opposition to talk reforms at forum

CPP invites opposition to talk reforms at forum

Reforming the democratic system, including possible reforms to the National Election Committee, will take centre stage at a forum to be held by the end of the year, the government announced yesterday.

The meeting will include national and international political parties and civil society representatives in a debate over the future of democracy in Cambodia, which the government statement said would be “in accordance with the principles of pluralist liberal democracy and the rule of law”.

“The Royal Government would like to call for compatriots and the international community to support this vital reform process for the sake of peace, stability, democracy and development in Cambodia for more robust and continual progress,” it added.

Opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua yesterday cautiously welcomed the news.

Election reform “is the highest priority on our agenda and for the people wanting the truth, as long as they are clear that they will carry out reforms that will address the conduct during previous elections,” she said. “We want reforms to be open to all the recommendations of the UN the EU and international organisations.”

“I think it is a positive sign.… But there has to be discussions that include the recommendations [of the international community]. It should not just be a workshop for the sake of a workshop,” Sochua added.

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party signed a joint declaration in September pledging to work together on reforming the electoral system.

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said the talks would form part of a push to create a more pluralist democratic system.

“The national-level workshop is really crucial for the election reforms and it helps strengthen the implementation of pluralist liberal democracy,” he said.

Am Sam Ath, a senior investigator at human rights group Licadho, echoed the sentiments. “The reforms should be true to make both the people and civil society have faith, because now people do not have faith in there being deep reforms [ahead],” he said.

CNRP president Sam Rainsy and his deputy Kem Sokha could not be reached for comment yesterday.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DANIEL PYE

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by

  • Official transferred after pointing at car with foot

    The deputy director of the Siem Reap provincial Registration and Driver’s Licence Unit at the Department of Public Works and Transport who last week pointed at the number plate of a car taken in for a technical check with her foot has been transferred.

  • Kingdom rejects VN request

    Cambodia rebuffed Vietnam’s request to provide nationality to its citizens living in Kratie, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri and Stung Treng provinces, with officials saying law enforcement is the Kingdom’s responsibility. Chheang Vun, the head of the National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation,

  • PM sues Rainsy in Paris court

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and Dy Vichea, the deputy chief of the National Police, filed lawsuits against Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), for defamation in a Parisian court on Tuesday. The court action comes after Rainsy,