Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No progress on NEC reform

No progress on NEC reform

No progress on NEC reform

A workshop held to debate reform of the National Election Committee July 2 ran into

problems after the ruling Cambodian People's Party representative proposed that none

of the political parties be represented on the body.

Instead, the CPP's Ok Kimhan said his party's draft bill would see a reformed NEC

with five members, rather than the current 11, most of whom were appointed by the

CPP.

"The political parties accepted the result of the local elections [held February

2002], which means the electoral law was acceptable, although it is not 100 percent

perfect," said Kimhan. "The law should be reformed, but we should not change

everything about it."

Kimhan said under the CPP's proposal, the five would be drawn from dignitaries, although

he did not elaborate on how they would be chosen or who would be eligible.

The royalist Funcinpec, on the other hand, had proposed each of the three parties

in the National Assembly have two members on a six member NEC. Kimhan drew on the

recent World Cup for an analogy.

"We are like soccer players, but at the same time we want to work as referees?

How can we find transparency and justice that way?" he asked, adding that Funcinpec's

proposal would require a new NEC every time a new party was represented in the Assembly.

Reform of the NEC, which oversees the country's elections, is widely regarded by

donors, civil society and some politicians as vital for transparent elections. A

general election has been scheduled for July 27, 2003, and all changes to the NEC

must be completed no less than nine months before that date.

Funcinpec's Monh Saphan, who chairs the legislative commission of the National Assembly,

said the different positions between the CPP and Funcinpec was a problem that could

only be resolved if the two leaders met to discuss it. He said the CPP was showing

no willingness to reform the NEC.

Kassie Neou, current vice-president of the NEC, agreed the body needed reform and

new membership. He said the commune elections cost the government $8 million in staff

salaries and for the registration of voters. He felt that was too expensive.

The CPP celebrated the 51st anniversary of its founding June 28 and called for

the coalition between itself and Funcinpec to continue after next year's general

election.

"It is in this spirit that the CPP continues to strengthen its close cooperation

with Funcinpec," party president Chea Sim told attendant diplomats and thousands

of party faithful. "That will ensure the stability of our nation and the realization

of the Royal Government's ongoing political platform."

MOST VIEWED

  • Restrictions re-imposed in capital as Covid cases surge

    Amid the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has shown no sign of subsiding with 750 infections and 10 deaths reported on June 2 alone, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has decided to re-impose the suspension of all occupations and business activities deemed as posing high risk of

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

    The construction of the nearly $2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Vasim Sorya. Invested in by Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd, the first expressway in

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • First 7-Eleven store to open mid-June, ambassador says

    Thai retail conglomerate CP All Pcl will open Cambodia’s first 7-Eleven convenience store in mid-June, Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn told The Post on June 1. The Bangkok-listed 7-Eleven franchise operator, the retail arm of Charoen Pokphand Group Co Ltd, granted CP All (Cambodia)

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The