Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sokha given chance to debate CPP on TV

Sokha given chance to debate CPP on TV

Sokha given chance to debate CPP on TV

Acting opposition leader Kem Sokha will have a rare chance to face off against a ruling party opponent in a nationally televised debate before the election.

The debate will be one of two broadcast on TVK on July 20 and 21 in a series organised by the US-funded National Democratic Institute that will include nine town hall-style debates with provincial candidates from almost all parties.

NDI resident coordinator Laura Thornton yesterday could not confirm which candidates would line up against Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy president Kem Sokha, but said he would be debating a member of the Cambodian People’s Party.

“I think some people were hoping it was going to be the Prime Minister [Hun Sen] but that is not the case,” she said.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann confirmed yesterday Sokha would participate in the debate, which would be pre-recorded.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said yesterday he did not know who the CPP would field, and Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said he was busy. While “100 per cent” of the questions in the provincial debates would come from the public, with each speaker given two minutes to respond, the format of the television debates was yet to be finalised, Thornton said.

In a statement yesterday, NDI said 88 per cent of those who listened to NDI-organised debates before the 2012 commune elections stated they changed their opinion about one or more parties or candidates as a result.

While this year’s debates will reach far more people through expanded coverage that now includes radio stations VAYO, 106.5, 95.5, 93.5, National Radio FM and Beehive, TV broadcasts remain restricted to one carrier.

“We put our terms of reference to every single station. We did have a lot of initial positive conversations with CTN earlier on. They were very excited early on, and one day they called and just said ‘we’re not going to do’, and no one else responded,” Thornton said. All television stations in Cambodia are affiliated with the CPP and consistently come under fire for failing to provide fair coverage of opposition parties.

MOST VIEWED

  • Oil producers see oversupply

    Major oil producers said on Sunday that crude supply next year would outstrip demand, calling for new strategies based on production adjustments. Khalid al-Falih, Energy Minister of the world’s top supplier Saudi Arabia, said the kingdom would cut its production by 500,000 barrels per day (

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • ‘Historic’ Khmer Rouge tribunal Case 002/2 verdict to be delivered

    The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are to deliver the verdict on Friday, in the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, in a pronouncement hailed as a “historic event for Cambodia and the world”. The verdict from

  • Record set for world’s longest dragon boat

    Cambodia broke the world record for the longest dragon boat – a title previously held by China, Guinness World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel said on Monday. He verified the record on the east bank of the Mekong river, in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district. “With