Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC ‘code’ should not be criminalised: NGOs

NEC ‘code’ should not be criminalised: NGOs

Koul Panha, head of election monitor Comfrel, talks during a press conference in Phnom Penh in 2014.
Koul Panha, head of election monitor Comfrel, talks during a press conference in Phnom Penh in 2014. Pha Lina

NEC ‘code’ should not be criminalised: NGOs

The Electoral Reform Alliance, a coalition of election watchdog NGOs, has called on the National Election Committee to remove punitive measures from its code of ethics ahead of the commune and national elections.

Koul Panha, head of Comfrel, one of the 20 NGOs in the coalition, said the codes of ethics for five groups – election officers, parties, armed forces, observers, and the press – were supposed to be a procedural guide on roles and duties, and not legally binding with fines or jail time.

The code mimics much of Cambodia’s law on elections, which includes a controversial ban on “insulting” politicians and a clause by which entire political parties can be held accountable for the actions of one member.

“We ask you to remove the articles on punishment on the five codes of ethics, because codes of ethics are not on a par with laws and regulation . . . which force one to respect and follow,” the letter read.

The letter, dated July 17, called for lighter measures to be introduced if the code was broken, including education, warnings or termination of duties.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said he planned to have a meeting to discuss the group’s recommendations next week.

The letter also calls on the NEC to extend the deadline for groups to provide feedback until the end of the month, saying they received notice on July 13 and needed more time to review and provide recommendations.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the