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New parliamentarians get crash course on democracy

New parliamentarians get crash course on democracy

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A UN Development Program workshop opened Wednesday hopes to get experienced lawmakers to impart their knowledge 

Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN

The panel at the UNDP workshop in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.

THE UN Development Program launched a two-day orientation workshop for newly elected members of the National Assembly Wednesday, designed to ensure the MPs understand their responsibilities as democratically elected representatives.

Paul McGrath, who was a member of the Irish Parliament for 18 years and a visiting speaker at the event, said the orientation was an important introduction for newly elected officials and will be a good review for the more experienced members.

"This program will help those elected members prepare for the challenges that face them over the next five years," McGrath said.

Learning from experience

Much of the orientation workshop focuses on teaching the nitty-gritty of parliamentary procedures and protocols, but the real value comes from the interaction of the newly elected representatives with more experienced politicians, according to a Cambodian People's Party official.

Cheam Yeap, a senior CPP lawmaker, said that the dialogues provide an opportunity for lawmakers to strengthen their relationships with other legislators and to learn from the know-how of others.

"Our newly elected members will learn from the experiences of senior members and from international parliamentary experts about how to best fulfill their duties in the interest of the nation and the voters." Cheam Yeap said.

Cheam Yeap said the workshop is evidence of the CPP's commitment towards democracy and will help the parliamentarians act like experienced representatives.

"The CPP will strengthen democracy in the National Assembly to save face as mature politicians," he said. 

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