Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Opposition political grouping condemns NEC

Opposition political grouping condemns NEC

Opposition political grouping condemns NEC

A coalition of Cambodia's sole elected opposition party and two hopefuls has threatened

demonstrations if the government does not re-organize the National Election Committee

(NEC) to ensure free and fair elections.

The three parties - the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), Prince Norodom Chakrapong's Khmer

Soul Party, and Pen Sovann's Cambodian National Sustaining Party - criticized the

selection process for the five NEC nominees whose names were announced September

25.

The leaders said the five were not independent, and called their selection an attempt

to thwart international efforts at a transparent election process.

"We speak with one voice to push for elections that will reflect the will of

the Cambodian people and convince the donor countries to put pressure on the [Cambodian

People's Party] to hold fair elections," said Sam Rainsy. "Cambodia is

headed for trouble and instability because people will lose faith and hope in democracy."

The nominees for the new board were picked by the Ministry of Interior (MoI). Three

are linked to the ruling CPP and two to the royalist Funcinpec party. The CPP/Funcinpec-dominated

National Assembly will consider the nominees when it meets later this year. They

are likely to be approved by a wide margin.

The opposition grouping warned it would not accept the list as it stands. Calling

for a solution that is "acceptable to all parties", its proposal, which

is considered highly unlikely to succeed, was for an NEC composed of one member from

each major party, and two from non-partisan NGOs.

Those considered by the opposition parties as CPP-aligned are: Im Suosdey, secretary-general

of the current NEC; Mean Sati, former chief of the Battam-bang provincial election

commission; and Koy Vet, executive director of the NGO Khmer Women's Voice Center.

Those nominees supported by Funcinpec are Nge Chhay Lieng, deputy chief of cabinet

at the MoI, and Dr Sin Chum Bo, a NGO consultant with joint US-Cambodian.

The opposition grouping also condemned the MoI for ignoring the opinions of both

them and citizens' groups during the nomination process.

The Election Law, amendments to which were passed by the National Assembly last month,

states that the NEC must act as a neutral and independent coordinator. As part of

that, all board members must resign from any political party before they can be approved.

The CPP maintains that the NEC is legitimate. Ho Naun, a CPP MP and central committee

member, said the reformed body would "guarantee independence, neutrality, and

free and fair elections". Others in the National Assembly felt that was disingenuous.

"I think the Ministry of Interior has to reconsider their nominations of the

new NEC," said Funcinpec's Nan Sy. "I am keeping to my view that since

the debate [last month] at the National Assembly, the reform of the NEC is not free

and fair."

ï Election monitors Nicfec and Comfrel strongly condemned the killings and intimidation

of political activists over the last six months.

In a joint statement on September 23 they demanded urgent investigations into the

cases, and effective measures to protect political activists ahead of the general

election. Those most at risk, they said, were newly appointed opposition activists

at the commune level.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (