Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Parties set to select members of NEC



Parties set to select members of NEC

Parties set to select members of NEC

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng today to discuss the selection of candidates for a reformed election body, officials said yesterday.

The leaders will discuss the final appointees for the eight partisan positions and the ninth “neutral” member of the National Election Committee (NEC), after receiving at least 20 applications, a CPP spokesman said.

Hang Puthea, director of election-monitoring group Nicfec, was last week tipped as the “neutral” ninth member of the NEC after Licadho president Pung Chhiv Kek, seemingly barred by dual-citizenship rules, said she could not accept the nomination.

Sok Eysan, a CPP legislator, said yesterday that more than 60 people had requested NEC membership application forms, but only about 20 had submitted completed applications by yesterday afternoon.

He added that the position of NEC president would go to the ruling party in accordance with the July agreement that ended almost a year of political deadlock after the CNRP boycotted parliament following the 2013 election.

If a majority of the National Assembly’s permanent committee approves the selections, the names will then be passed to the full parliament, where a simple majority vote will decide the outcome. As the CPP holds the majority of parliament’s 123 seats, an NEC president drawn from the ruling party is expected to be approved, Eysan said.

CPP lawmaker Sik Bun Hok, who has been touted as a candidate for the role, declined to comment yesterday, saying only that he had not received an official notification of selection but would welcome the position if it was offered.

Rainsy said in an email yesterday that it had not yet been decided whether a CPP official would be chosen for the presidency.

“This needs to be discussed and confirmed,” he wrote.

Other candidates who applied for a role on the NEC include Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association; Sia Phearum, director of the Housing Rights Task Force; Muth Chantha, CNRP deputy president Kem Sokha’s chief of cabinet; and current NEC members Mao Sophearith and Mean Satik.

Eng Chhay Eang, a senior CNRP lawmaker involved in the negotiations over the new NEC law, said that the appointment of a CPP candidate as president would matter little in practice.

“The NEC president is just a symbolic position, so who becomes president of the NEC is not a problem,” he said. “Who becomes NEC president is based on a majority decision [of parliament].”

Chheang Vannarith, a lecturer at Leeds University in the UK, said that the new NEC, “although . . . not perfect, provides an equal playing field for both parties. The new NEC is expected to perform much better; more transperency and accountability.”

“The amended Election Law, although there are certain loopholes, binds political parties to respect the election results, preventing future post-election political impasse or crisis.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration