Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Electoral provisions debated at key seminar

Electoral provisions debated at key seminar

Electoral provisions debated at key seminar

C ONTROL of the military and police during the 1998 election was a key issue raised

by politicians from both major parties during an electoral seminar late last month.

First Prime Minister and Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh urged the armed

forces to stay neutral in the campaign.

Co-Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, of the Cambodian People's Party, called for the

armed forces to be put under "special assignment" - which he did not specify

- to reduce violence.

The two made their comments at the five-day "Electoral systems and an administration"

seminar in Phnom Penh.

Organized by the Ministry of Interior and the Khmer Institute for Democracy, the

seminar was aimed

kick-starting debate and preparations about the next election.

It led to a chorus of calls for action to ensure the elections were free and fair,

without political violence.

In a message read on his behalf, King Norodom Sihanouk said a free and fair election

was vital "for our democracy to survive."

He appealed for the freedom for political parties to run their campaigns with "mutual

respect" for each other.

Ranariddh, in a speech read by co-Minister of Interior You Hockry, appealed to the

army and police to not favor "any one political party."

Sar Kheng went the farthest, delivering a speech which outlined 11 "essential

principles" for the holding of the election.

They included putting the police and military on special assignment "to ensure

order and security", and to have firm punishment for all actions of violence,

during the election.

Kheng said that an independent electoral commission, "with or without the government's

participation" must be established.

Security for political parties and candidates should be ensured.

As well as urging equal access to the media by all parties, he called for some form

of "financial support" for them from the state - to be repaid after the

election.

Kheng welcomed comments by diplomats at the seminar that the international community

would continue to support democracy in Cambodia.

He closed his speech by saying that, on behalf of himself, Ranariddh, Second Prime

Minister Hun Sen and the King, "I would like to respond to your Excellencies

that the Kingdom of Cambodia will not disappoint the international community."

Earlier, Kheng said it was too early to say whether should maintain a proportional

representation system, adopt a first-past-the-post one or a mixture of both.

The seminar, featuring foreign electoral experts, included a day-long closed session

with provincial governors, deputy governors police chiefs.

MOST VIEWED

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Num banh chok pizza a new fusion hit

    Num banh chok is a traditional fish curry with fermented rice noodles, prahok fish paste, kroeung paste, flowering plants and seasonal vegetables that is arguably a strong contender for “national dish” status in Cambodia and typically served for breakfast or eaten as an afternoon snack.

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Higher education leaders tour US

    With support from the US Department of State, 10 Cambodian leaders in higher education participated in the 10-day International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) in three US states from June 19 to July 1. They included nine university rectors and directors of higher education institutions who are members of