Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Top NEC candidate bows out




Top NEC candidate bows out

Kem Monovithya, the CNRP’s deputy public affairs head and a daughter of deputy party leader Kem Sokha
Kem Monovithya, the CNRP’s deputy public affairs head and a daughter of deputy party leader Kem Sokha, attends a party rally last year in Phnom Penh. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Top NEC candidate bows out

As the ruling and opposition parties yesterday edged closer to full agreement on a new National Election Committee law, one of the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s favoured candidates for a seat on the nine-member committee said she had removed herself from consideration.

Kem Monovithya, the CNRP’s deputy public affairs head and a daughter of deputy party leader Kem Sokha, said she did not want to be limited by the technical role of an NEC member.

“After considering the pros and cons of being in the NEC, I have decided that I think my time could be better spent for the party and country outside [the NEC]. I have decided not to go through with it,” she told the Post. “There are things that I would like to do that I could not do if I joined the NEC.”

Kuoy Bunroeun – an elected CNRP lawmaker who gave up his parliamentary seat for party leader Sam Rainsy in July – is the only candidate the opposition has confirmed will take one its four assigned spots on the revamped committee.

But high-level party sources have previously confirmed that Monovithya, along with election-reform advocate Koul Panha and Community Legal Education Center director Yeng Virak were “99 per cent” sure to be the CNRP’s other selections.

The Cambodian People’s Party has not revealed any of its four candidates, while Pung Chhiv Kek, the president of rights group Licadho, has yet to confirm that she will be the NEC’s ninth “consensus” candidate.

Panha, who serves as head of Comfrel, yesterday said he would prefer if the political parties were holding a transparent recruitment process with clear criteria rather than “selecting them secretly”.

“Otherwise, the new NEC members will not feel confident that the public has trust in them,” he said.

Working groups from both parties met yesterday to try to finalise the draft NEC law, but remain in disagreement over three points, according to CNRP spokesman Yem Ponharith. These relate to the selection of NEC members, the selection of the committee’s secretary-general and deputy secretary-general positions, along with other decision-making protocols – such as what constitutes a quorum – he said.

A national conference with civil society and the public will be held when the law is drafted, Ponharith said. He added that the NEC would now be responsible for organising the entire national election, including voter registration, as has been lobbied for by election watchdogs. CPP working group member and lawmaker Sik Bun Hok confirmed that yesterday’s meeting failed to reach full accord.

“We agreed on the content, but not some words. These are not big issues,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • CNRP activist freed; Sam Rainsy pledges return to Kingdom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday released former CNRP activist Oeur Narith on bail after the court ended its questioning on suspicion of receiving money from abroad and plotting to overthrow the government, according to the authorities. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed

  • Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the virtual UN General Assembly on Monday, saying that developing nations often become targets of punishment for their imperfections when they don’t rise to the standards of developed countries. He said rivalries between superpowers often hamper developing countries’