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Threat to NEC vote

Threat to NEC vote

Lawmakers of the royalist Funcinpec party have threaten- ed to join opposition Sam

Rainsy Party (SRP) legislators in boycotting the October 25 vote on the composition

of the National Election Committee (NEC).

The parliamentarians are annoyed that the new five-member body, which regulates the

country's elections, will be dominated by the ruling Cambodian People's Party.

Two Funcinpec MPs, Keo Remy and Nan Sy, told the Post they would discourage other

members from turning up to the special session. The National Assembly will lack a

quorum if fewer than 86 of the 122 MPs arrive to vote.

Nan Sy said ten Funcinpec lawmakers are considering joining them, along with all

15 SRP parliamentarians. They will need another ten if they are to scupper the vote,

a move Funcinpec president Prince Norodom Ranariddh is trying to avoid. In a statement,

Ranariddh urged his legislators to vote.

"This will be the first time we have had the chance to elect five non-political

members," he wrote. "So we should be satisfied."

Ranariddh said he would discuss the issue with party secretary-general Prince Norodom

Sirivudh, and meet all Funcinpec MPs on October 24 in a bid to influence them.

The five candidates for the NEC were proposed by the Ministry of Interior. The composition

of the new NEC must be finalized seven months before the next election, which is

scheduled for July 27, 2003.