Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Elections not enough



Elections not enough

Elections not enough

The Editor,

Elections are not enough to bring peace and democracy to Cambodia. We should learn

the lesson. Even if there are free and fair elections in 1998, who will enforce the

rule of law? Didn't we witness what has happened since 1993? Without neutral police,

military police, the military, courts, and public administration, law-making does

not make much sense since there is nobody to make sure that the law is implemented

properly. Indeed we need a neutral armed forces and police as the draft Cambodian

electoral law and political party law state. We need neutral public institutions

before, during, and after the elections. Without this, there will be no peace nor

democracy in Cambodia.

How can we know that public institutions are neutral? One way to prove that they

become neutral is to bring the people responsible for the recent murders of Funcinpec

officials, for the March 30 grenade attack, and for the murders of journalists to

justice. It is easy to say that political freedom exists but words do not count,

deeds count. Making things transparent will help all sides since people make wrong

decisions and misbehave if they do not know the truth. As Buddha teaches, we need

to see things properly, to think properly, to speak the truth, and to act properly.

Without knowing the truth, one can easily end up believing lies and misbehaving,

sometimes even killing people.

Foreigners who talk about "realpolitik" and support "stability"

by force, should please remember that most Cambodians want "peace" and

do not want "violence". If democracy really existed in Cambodia, there

would have been no coup d'état. Cambodian soldiers did not need to murder

and injure their fellow Cambodians. Please listen to what ordinary Cambodians are

longing for. They want peace and they don't want bloodshed. If democracy is a way

to rule a society by majority consensus, Cambodian people's consensus is "peace".

Please support democracy and peace, not violence.

- Tanaka Tomomichi (alias), volunteer worker in Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said