Press Release on Public Forum in Vancouver of British Columbia

Press Release                                                                                  9:15 am

“The Crackdown of Democracy in Cambodia”                                         May 15, 2018

Press Release to Welcoming Sam RainsyCoup detat in July 1997 by second Premier Hun Sen to depose first Premier Prince Norodom Rannaridh left Cambodia’s seat at the UNs vacant under the supervision of Credential Committee of the UNs. In that time, US was the core leader to lobby other nation-states to aid this seat postponement. With current setback of democracy, Cambodia shall be inevitably facing tensions with the international community especially the Cambodia’s legal seat at the UNs. The same political manoeuvring as the coup in 1997, before the arrival of election day in July is the dissolution of the largest opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) by the Supreme Court which is a politically motivated. Many scholars and political observers including the director of human rights watch Brad Adam have viewed this dissolution as a cold-blood coup detat.

This May 14, the National Election Committee (NEC) of Cambodia closed its political party registration date and declared 4 parties to be correctly registered by allowing another 5 days to fulfilling other parties. Prime Minister Hun Sen predicted before the work of NEC that there will be at least 10 parties to join the election while the Ministry of Interior issued a listed political parties of over 41 parties by stating as “listing at the Ministry” without specifying on those parties have properly worked with due processes according to the laws such as the requirement of 4000 membership registration and the deposit of money over $4000 dollars with the Treasury Department etc. The political parties released by the NEC has no Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and the leadership of this party has issued a statement to “boycott” this upcoming July 29, 2018 election.

The contentious election face-up to between opposition CNRP and government-led party CPP has come amid a belief that, at least, over 5 million of Cambodian eligible voters will refrain themselves from going to the ballot-booth to peaceful protest the wrong doing and the denial of voters’ rights by Prime Minister Hun Sen leadership. This latest authoritarian decision-making of Prime Minister Hun Sen has significantly violated the existing national Constitution and the spirit the Paris Peace Agreement signed in October 23, 1991 to guarantee multi-parties (plural) democracy, human rights, sustainable development, and the rule of law of Cambodia. Hun Sen and his entourages will be more ease than the gun-firing coup in 1997, but the pressures and the caution of losing political legitimacy is remained the same. Once again, the leadership of CNRP has come out in stronger unity after the party dissolution till today, while the condemnation of the international community including the United Nations have come out stronger and stronger. Many measures have been laid out and more pressures from the democratic countries are needed.

Canadian government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should join in hand with the United Nations and the International Communities to pressure on authoritarian leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen and to help bring back democracy to Cambodia. During this occasion of welcoming Mr. Sam Rainsy, former leader of CNRP and its co-founder, and current leader of Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM) to visiting Vancouver in May 20, 2018 at 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm, we would like to invite media, federal and local politicians, and all democratic friends, to join us this rare public forum at Guildford Park Secondary School: 10707 146 Street, Surrey, BC

Further info: Sophoan Seng, 403-975-5415,

Press Release on Public Forum in Vancouver, BC in pdf

UN Rights Envoy Claims General Election ‘Not Genuine’ Without Banned Opposition Party

UN Rights Envoy Claims General Election ‘Not Genuine’ Without Banned Opposition Party

UN Envoy on Human Rights Rhona Smith at a press conference on human rights in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 14, 2018. (Hul Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
UN Envoy on Human Rights Rhona Smith at a press conference on human rights in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 14, 2018. (Hul Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)

Rhona Smith said the government must immediately release the detained opposition leaders and lift a ban on the opposition taking part in the July 29 general election.

Rhona Smith, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, has said that the country’s forthcoming national election will not be “genuine” without the participation of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party.

The CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court last November after its leaders were charged with treason for their alleged role in a foreign-backed plot of overthrow Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“No election can be genuine if the main opposition party is barred from taking part,” she said in a statement.

Smith stressed that the government must immediately release the detained opposition leaders and lift a ban on the opposition taking part in the July 29 general election.

“Those who currently rule the country have one final opportunity to reverse the current trajectory, and return instead to the constitutional path of multi-party democracy and genuine elections —ensuring a level playing field for all political parties,” she added.

The appeal to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party came on the same day that the National Election Committee (NEC) announced the start of official registrations for the election, which is due to be held on July 29.

However, Hun Sen defended the process, saying in a speech that any delay to the election would be unconstitutional.

“The constitution must be changed for a delay. The law must be changed for a delay. The National Election Committee has no right to delay [the election] because this procedure is set by the law we made,” he said.

“A dead person that passed away was burned without knowing the whereabouts of the bone. It will not survive. Only the real parties can stand for the election. Thus, [we] see it in black and white,” he added, referring to the CNRP.

Hang Puthea, NEC spokesman, said Smith may have misunderstood legal proceedings in Cambodia, saying “at least ten political parties intend to take part in the election.





គណៈកម្មាធិការដើម្បីសិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោតរបស់ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេសមានការខកចិត្តជាខ្លាំង ដែលព្រឹទ្ធសភាថ្មីប្រចាំអណត្តិ២០១៨-២០១៣និងដែលបានយាងអធិបតីប្រកាសសុពលភាពដោយ ព្រះមហាក្សត្រ គឺជាព្រឹទ្ធសភាឯកបក្សផ្ទុយទៅនឹងរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញត្រង់មាត្រា៥១ថ្មីដែលមានចែងយ៉ាង ច្បាស់ថា ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជាអនុវត្តនយោបាយប្រជាធិបតេយ្យសេរីពហុបក្ស…។

អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិបានចំណាយធនធានរាប់កោដិលានដុល្លាដើម្បីកសាងនិងពង្រឹងលទ្ធិ ប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនៅកម្ពុជា។ ប៉ុន្តែរបបលោកហ៊ុន-សែន មិនមែនមិនបានពង្រីកនិងពង្រឹងប៉ុណ្ណោះទេ ថែមទាំងបំផ្លាញចោលទាំងស្រុងតែម្តងដោយប្លន់យកឆន្ទៈរាស្រ្តដែលបោះឆ្នោតអោយសមាជិកក្រុម ប្រឹក្សាឃុំ-សង្កាត់ទាំង៥០០៧នាក់ពីគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិដើម្បីបង្កើតព្រឹទ្ធសភាបែបផ្តាច់ការតែម្តង។

យើងត្រូវការការបោះឆ្នោតមួយដែលមានន័យពិតប្រាកដ ដែលយើងអាចទទួលយកបានទាំង អស់គ្នា។ ការរំលាយគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ ការយកកៅអីសភានិងសមាជិកក្រុមប្រឹក្សាឃុំ-សង្កាត់ របស់គណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិទៅចែកអោយបក្សផ្សេង គឺស្មើនឹងការជាន់ឈ្លីប្រជាពលរដ្ឋអ្នកបោះឆ្នោត ជិតកន្លះប្រទេស ជាការរំលោភលើរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញកម្ពុជា និងជាការរំលោភលើកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុង ប៉ារីស២៣ តុលា ឆ្នាំ១៩៩១។ ការបោះឆ្នោតព្រឹទ្ធិសភាកាលថ្ងៃទី២៥ ខែកុម្ភៈ ឆ្នាំ២០១៨ដោយគ្មាន គណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិចូលរួមគឺជាការបោះឆ្នោតបង្គ្រប់កិច្ចរបស់លទ្ធិផ្តាច់ការឯកបក្សតែប៉ុណ្ណោះ។

ជាការកត់សំគាល់មួយទៀត តំណែងព្រឹទ្ធសភាមួយចំនួនធំគឺជាឧញ៉ាដែលជាម្ចាស់ជំនួញធំៗ ក្នុងព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា ដែលប្រការនេះគឺផ្ទុយទៅនឹងស្មារតីច្បាប់ដែលហាមបុគ្គលទាំងឡាយនេះ មិនអោយកាន់កាប់តំណែងរដ្ឋាភិបាលព្រោះអាចនាំផលវិបាកក្នុងរឿងប៉ៈពាល់ដល់ទំនាស់ផលប្រយោជន៍ គឺការញែកមិនដាច់រវាងផលប្រយោជន៍ជាតិនិងផលប្រយោជន៍ផ្ទាល់ខ្លួនតែម្តង។


នាក់ នៅតែទាមទារអោយមានការអនុវត្តន៍តាមរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញខ្មែរអោយបានត្រឹមត្រូវដើម្បីធានានូវនិរន្តរភាព នៃលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យសេរីពហុបក្សនៅកម្ពុជាអោយបានពិតប្រាកដ។ ក្នុងកាលៈទេសៈបច្ចុប្បន្ន ក្រោមការ ដឹកនាំរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែននិងគណបក្បប្រជាជន ហើយបើការបោះឆ្នោតជាតិខាងមុខមិនមានការចូល រួមពីគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិទេប្រទេសកម្ពុជានិងប្រជាពលរដ្ឋកម្ពុជាអាចនឹងជួបគ្រោះហ៍ភ័យដូចក្នុងកំឡុង ខ្មែរក្រហមឡើងកាន់កាប់អំណាចក្នុងឆ្នាំ១៩៧៥ ដូច្នោះដែរ។

ជយោ លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនិងនីតិរដ្ឋនៅកម្ពុជា!

ជយោ ស្មារតីនៃកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីសអមតៈ!

ជយោ កំឡាំងសាមគ្គីរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេស-ក្នុងប្រទេសទាំងអស់!

ថ្ងៃទី២៥ ខែមេសា ឆ្នាំ២០១៨

Read the whole statement in pdf at Public Statement on the Single Party Senate of Cambodia

Senate 1 Senate 2 Senate 3 Senate 4

Public Statement on the Single Party Senate of Cambodia 1 Public Statement on the Single Party Senate of Cambodia 2

Overseas Cambodians Step Up Activism in Light of Gov’t Crackdown

Overseas Cambodians Step Up Activism in Light of Gov’t Crackdown

Op-Ed: VOA Khmer

Men Kimseng, VOA Khmer

In March, a group of Cambodians in Europe gathered to protest at the United Nations Human Rights Council office in Geneva, Switzerland, as the body was due to review human rights situation in Cambodia.

Cambodians living overseas have increased their activism since a government crackdown on dissent began last year, according to activists.

Cambodians in Europe protested against political repression in Cambodia. (Courtesy photo)

Cambodians in Europe protested against political repression in Cambodia. (Courtesy photo)

Last month, a group of Cambodians in Europe gathered to protest at the United Nations Human Rights Council office in Geneva, Switzerland, as the body was due to review human rights situation in Cambodia.

Other demonstrations took place in the days leading up to the meeting, in Sydney, Australia, as Prime Minister Hun Sen attended a summit of Asean and Australian leaders.

Holding placards in support of political prisoners, including the jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha, protesters chanted anti-Hun Sen slogans.

“We, the Khmer people living abroad, do not forget our motherland and what’s happening there,” said Thay Makara, a Khmer community leader in Europe. “With social media, the connection with our countrymen remains close. We feel miserable to see our people suffer abuses.”

The Supreme Court dissolved Sokha’s party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, in November and banned 118 senior party officials from politics for five years. The government has also used tax laws to pressure independent media and civil society groups into silence.

Activists have organized public forums and met their representatives in the United States and Canada to urge them to apply diplomatic pressure on Phnom Penh.

“At this point, our strategy is to demand a review of the Paris Peace Agreement in order to have a free and fair election, not the Russian-style one,” said Seng Sophoan, president of the Committee for Election Rights of Overseas Cambodians (CEROC).

The Vancouver-based CEROC has been working for years to demand voting rights for Cambodians overseas.

“What we have been doing is to urge donor countries to review the Cambodian government’s recent actions,” said Men Vannak, another community organizer, from Lowell, Massachusetts. “This government abuses democrats, civil society groups, and the opposition party.”

Cambodian community leaders from around the world gathered in Melbourne, Australia, for a three-day conference to discuss ways to tackle the challenges facing Cambodia in terms of its growing economy and society, including health, education, rural development, migration, and immigration.

Hong Lim, a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly and the main organizer, hoped that the “World Khmer Conference” would find a way to address these challenges, which he considered “terribly troublesome” issues.

“We, the owners of our country, must be brave to face these challenges,” Lim said. “We must dare to find a solution together.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Cambodia’s democracy at 124 out of 167 countries, down from a “hybrid government” to a “dictatorship”, after it dissolved the main opposition party.

Many opposition politicians have fled the country to escape persecution and to continue their political activism, while some of their colleagues remain in the country.

“These are peaceful and non-violent protests by Cambodians overseas,” said Kuch Schanley, an independent analyst in Maryland. “The worrying trend is that the Cambodian government will continue to do whatever they want. They don’t want to listen to demands by people in and outside of Cambodia.”

“I believe that Cambodians inside the country can play a significant role, too, since the conflict is actually there,” he added.

Schanley said that overseas Cambodians from the US, Australia, Germany, Canada, and France, cannot fully help them alone.

“Once Cambodians inside the country call for external help, they should help themselves, too,” he said. “They have no strength and resources, but their compatriots outside can shake up the international community to provide protection so that they can overcome their fear and stand up to protect their national interest.”

Continue reading Overseas Cambodians Step Up Activism in Light of Gov’t Crackdown


Op-Ed: VOA Khmer

បាតុកម្មថ្មីៗនេះ បានកើតមានឡើងនៅទីក្រុងហ្ស៊ឺណែវប្រទេសស្វ៊ីស និងនៅទីក្រុងស៊ីដនី ប្រទេសអូស្ត្រាលី ក្នុងខណៈពេលដែលលោកនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុន សែន កំពុងចូលរួមកិច្ចប្រជុំកំពូលរវាងមេដឹកនាំអាស៊ាននិងអូស្ត្រាលី។

ម៉ែន គឹមសេង
VOA khmerកាលពីថ្ងៃច័ន្ទដើមសប្តាហ៍នេះ ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅអឺរ៉ុបបានមកជួបជុំគ្នាតវ៉ានៅទីក្រុងហ្ស៊ឺណែវប្រទេសស្វ៊ីសដើម្បីទាមទារឱ្យអង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិជួយដោះស្រាយវិបត្តិនយោបាយនៅក្នុងប្រទេសកម្ពុជាឱ្យបានឆាប់។

បាតុកម្មស្រដៀងគ្នានេះបានកើតមានឡើងកាលពីចុងសប្តាហ៍មុននៅទីក្រុងស៊ីដនី ប្រទេសអូស្ត្រាលី ក្នុងខណៈពេលដែលលោកនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុន សែន កំពុងចូលរួមកិច្ចប្រជុំកំពូលរវាងមេដឹកនាំអាស៊ាននិងអូស្ត្រាលី។ ពួកគេបានប្រឆាំងនឹងវត្តមានរបស់លោកនៅទីនោះ។

បាតុករបានស្រែកព្រមៗគ្នាថា៖ «….Hun Sen, Go home! Hun Sen, Go home!‍» ដែលមានន័យថា«ហ៊ុន សែនត្រឡប់ទៅប្រទេសលោកឯងវិញទៅ!‍»

ទាំងនេះជាសកម្មភាពមួយចំនួនដែលសហគមន៍ខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេសបានធ្វើក្នុងពេលដែលវិបត្តិនយោបាយបានផ្ទុះជាថ្មីឡើងវិញបន្ទាប់ពីរដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជាបានធ្វើទុកបុក្ខម្នេញគណបក្សប្រឆាំង បណ្តាញសារព័ត៌មានឯករាជ្យនិងអង្គការសង្គមស៊ីវិល។

លោក ថៃ មករា តំណាងសហគមន៍ខ្មែរនៅអឺរ៉ុបបានបញ្ជាក់ប្រាប់ VOA ថា៖

«បងប្អូនកូនខ្មែរទាំងអស់គ្នាដែលបានចេញមកក្រៅប្រទេសនេះមិនបានភ្លេចពីទឹកដីដែលខ្លួនបានកើតនោះទេគឺទោះបីជាយើងមកដល់ទីនេះមានការហូបចុកត្រឹមត្រូវ មានផ្ទះសម្បែងស្នាក់នៅ មានការងារធ្វើឡានជិះអីរៀងៗខ្លួន ប៉ុន្តែយើងនៅតែនឹកស្រណោះទៅដល់ប្រទេសរបស់យើងជានិច្ច ហើយជាពិសេសក្នុងសម័យនេះដែលជាសម័យយើងអាចមានទំនាក់ទំនងគ្នាទូរស័ព្ទទៅថ្មើម៉ានក៏បាន ទំនាក់ទំនងតាមបែបហ្វេសប៊ុកក៏បានគឺកាន់តែធ្វើឱ្យយើងមានភាពក្តុកក្តួលថែមទៀត នឹកអាល័យស្រុក នឹកប្រជាជនខ្លួនឯងថែមទៀតផងនៅពេលដែលឃើញគេធ្វើបាប‍»។

តុលាការកំពូលបានរំលាយគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិដែលជាគណបក្សប្រឆាំងដ៏ធំកាលពីថ្ងៃទី១៦ ខែវិច្ឆិកា ឆ្នាំមុនហើយបានហាមឃាត់មន្ត្រីជាន់ខ្ពស់គណបក្សចំនួន១១៨នាក់មិនឱ្យធ្វើនយោបាយរយៈពេល៥ឆ្នាំ។ រដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជាបានប្រើប្រាស់ច្បាប់ពន្ធដារជាលេស ដើម្បីគាបសង្កត់សារព័ត៌មានឯករាជ្យមួយចំនួនឱ្យបិទទ្វារ ក្នុងនោះមានកាសែតជាភាសាអង់គ្លេស The Cambodia Daily និងវិទ្យុអាស៊ីសេរី។

សហគមន៍ខ្មែរនៅអាមេរិកនិងកាណាដា ទីដែលមានពលរដ្ឋខ្មែររស់នៅច្រើនជាងគេនៅក្រៅប្រទេស បានធ្វើសកម្មភាពជាច្រើនដើម្បីឱ្យមានការគាំទ្រពីរដ្ឋបាលក្រុងវ៉ាស៊ីនតោននិងក្រុងអូតាវ៉ា។ សកម្មជនបានធ្វើបាតុកម្ម រៀបចំជាវេទិកាមហាជន និងជួបជាមួយនឹងអ្នកតំណាងរាស្រ្តដើម្បីស្នើសុំឱ្យមានការដាក់សម្ពាធលើរដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជាឱ្យកែប្រែស្ថានការណ៍មកដូចដើមវិញ។

លោក សេង សុភ័ណ ប្រធានគណៈកម្មាធិការដើម្បីសិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោតរបស់ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេស (The CEROC) ដែលមានមូលដ្ឋាននៅទីក្រុងវែនគូវើ ប្រទេសកាណាដា ធ្លាប់តែបានបំផុសពលរដ្ឋឱ្យចូលរួមសកម្មភាពនយោបាយនិងទាមទារសិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោត ប៉ុន្តែការរំលាយគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិបានធ្វើឱ្យទិសដៅនៃការតស៊ូមតិមកជាការទាមទារឱ្យមានការគោរពលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនិងរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញប្រទេសកម្ពុជា។ ក្នុងបណ្តាសកម្មភាពមានការធ្វើញត្តិតាមបណ្តាញអ៊ីនធឺណិតទាមទារឱ្យប្រទេសម្ចាស់ហត្ថលេខីនៃកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីសសើរើពិនិត្យមើលការអនុវត្តនេះឡើងវិញជាដើម។

លោក សេង សុភ័ណ បានបញ្ជាក់ថា៖

«អីចឹងទេ យុទ្ធសាស្រ្តរបស់យើងគឺយើងបត់បែនទៅរកការទាមទារឱ្យមានការសើរើឡើងវិញនូវកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីសឱ្យមានការបោះឆ្នោតមួយដោយសេរីនិងយុត្តិធម៌ត្រឹមត្រូវ មិនមែនសេរីយុត្តិធម៌តាមបែបប្រទេសរុស្ស៊ីតាមបែបប្រទេសចិនទេ។ យើងអត់ចង់បានទេព្រោះមិនមែនជាការបោះឆ្នោតមួយតាមលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ ជាការបោះឆ្នោតបែបបក្សតែមួយឬការបោះឆ្នោតដោយបក្សកុម្មុយនិស្ត»។

លោក ម៉ែន វណ្ណៈ សកម្មជនសហគមន៍ខ្មែរនៅទីក្រុងឡូវ៉ែលរដ្ឋម៉ាស្សាឈូសិតតែងតែដឹកនាំការធ្វើបាតុកម្មជាច្រើនក្នុងពេលកន្លងមក។


«អ្វីដែលយើងបានធ្វើនិងបន្តធ្វើគឺយើងធ្វើដដែលៗគឺសុំយ៉ាងណាដល់ប្រទេសដែលធ្លាប់ផ្តល់ជំនួយទៅប្រទេសកម្ពុជាសុំឱ្យគេត្រួតពិនិត្យមើលឡើងវិញថារដ្ឋាភិបាលបានធ្វើអ្វីខ្លះ។ ធ្វើទុក្ខបុកម្នេញអ្នកប្រជាធិបតេយ្យយ៉ាងណា លើអង្គការសង្គមស៊ីវិលនិងគណបក្សប្រឆាំង។ នេះគឺជាការងារដែលយើងធ្វើជាប្រចាំតាំងពីដើមមក‍»។

នៅចុងខែមីនានេះតំណាងសហគមន៍ខ្មែរនៅទូទាំងពិភពលោកនឹងមកជួបជុំគ្នានៅទីក្រុងម៉ែលប៊ន ប្រទេសអូស្ត្រាលីដើម្បីចូលរួមក្នុងសន្និសីទរយៈពេលបីថ្ងៃ ដើម្បីពិភាក្សាស្វែងរកវិធីដោះស្រាយបញ្ហាប្រឈមដែលប្រទេសកម្ពុជាកំពុងជួបប្រទះខាងផ្នែកសេដ្ឋកិច្ចនិងសង្គមកិច្ចដែលក្នុងនោះមានវិស័យសុខាភិបាល អប់រំសិក្សាធិការ អភិវឌ្ឍន៍ជនបទ ចំណាកស្រុក និងជនអន្តោប្រវេសន៍ជាដើម។

លោក ហុង លីម អ្នកតំណាងរាស្រ្តអូស្រ្តាលីដើមកំណើតខ្មែរនិងជាអ្នករៀបចំ«សន្និសីទពិភពលោកសម្រាប់ការអភិវឌ្ឍនាពេលអនាគតរបស់កម្ពុជា‍» យល់ថា ជាការប្រមូលផ្តុំបញ្ញាស្មារតីខ្មែរដើម្បី កែប្រែលម្អបញ្ហាប្រឈមទាំងនេះដែលលោកចាត់ទុកថាជា«បញ្ហាដ៏តក់ក្រហល់ជាបញ្ហាប្រឈមមុខយ៉ាងខ្លាំង»របស់កម្ពុជា។


«ដូច្នេះយើងជាម្ចាស់ស្រុក យើងជាខ្មែរត្រូវតែហ៊ានចាត់ប្រឈមមុខយកបញ្ហានេះយកមកគិតហើយគិតហ្នឹងគិតដោះស្រាយទោះអ្នកណាមិនដោះស្រាយក៏ដោយក៏បញ្ហាហ្នឹងវានៅ តែជាបញ្ហាដែលយើងនៅតែដោះស្រាយ‍»។

អង្គភាពស៊ើបការណ៍សេដ្ឋកិច្ចបានវាយតម្លៃថា លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យក្នុងប្រទេសកម្ពុជាបានជាប់ចំណាត់ថ្នាក់១២៤ក្នុងចំណោម១៦៧ប្រទេសដោយធ្លាក់ចុះពី«រដ្ឋាភិបាលកូនកាត់‍»មួយមកជារបប«ដឹកនាំផ្តាច់ការ‍»ដោយសារបានរំលាយគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិដែលជាដៃគូប្រកួតដ៏ធំមួយរបស់គណបក្សកាន់អំណាច។


Continue reading ខ្មែរ​ក្រៅ​ប្រទេស​សកម្ម​ពេល​អ្នក​ក្នុង​ស្រុក​រង​ការ​គាបសង្កត់

Michael Sullivan, Cambodia Votes: Democracy, Authority, and International Support for Elections (Book Review)

Op-Ed: Brill Online Book and Journal

Michael Sullivan, . Copenhagen:  Press [Governance in Asia series 5], 2016, xviii + 341 pp.  9788776941864, price:  60.00 (hardcover), 9788776941,  18.99 (paperback).

Michael Sullivan 1Michael Sullivan has written an exceptional chronicle of Cambodia’s modern electoral history, one that will serve as a reference for future scholars of Cambodia who may wish to study what democracy looked like, despite all its limitations, when it still existed in the country. (Full disclosure: I am a Trustee of the Center for Khmer Studies in Siem Reap where Michael Sullivan served as an Executive Director several years prior to my joining the Board.)

Systematically going from the  election of 1993 to the 2013 election, Sullivan details the inner workings of what Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party have done to ruthlessly amass power by hook and by crook. His Introduction has a good summary of the chapters that follow and provides a roadmap for what to expect. The chapters provide a lot of information—even I had trouble keeping-up with the details. (Thankfully, it was easy enough for this reader to remind myself of the events and to see them chronicled so richly and reconciled with my own understanding of the situation when they unfolded.)

From the very beginning, Sullivan makes clear that he ‘seeks to understand and explain the impact the 1993 elections had on the subsequent development of electoral politics in Cambodia up to and including polls in 2013’ (p. 2). He argues that ‘Beginning with  in 1993, the book argues that internationally supported elections have been the central site in a struggle between opposing political and civil forces for access to and control of the Cambodian state’ (p. 2),

There were two reasons for this. ‘Firstly, the Cambodian experience is unique in the fields of political transitions and electoral studies. International involvement and control of the transitional elections process was unparalleled in the early 1990s. Continued international technical and financial assistance for electoral development and engagement after is a key variable in understanding the ensuing struggle for control over the processes and outcomes of elections. Furthermore, new social and political forces that emerged from the  operation became significant players in the evolution of electoral politics’ (p. 2).

Secondly, ‘the Cambodian experience provides new insights into the inconsistencies and contradictions inherent in international support for multi-party democratic elections in conflict prone states. At the same time, the Cambodia case demonstrates that elections do hold out possibilities for meaningful social and political change despite manipulation and constraints placed upon them by authoritarian tendencies within the state apparatus.’ (p. 2)

The  period turns out to be a defining moment for Cambodian elections that goes well beyond 1992–1993, and would continue to impact Cambodia for a quarter century. ‘The question remained,’ ponders Sullivan, ‘what was the best way to handle  and the opposition parties?’ (p. 42). He posits that the biggest challenge to the  was the opening of new sources of information; what we might today in the age of Trump call “alternative facts”, instead of state propaganda. That information warfare continues to this day with a final assault on the , culminating in its closure on September 4, 2017, from a bogus $ 6.3 million tax bill, the banishment of Radio Free Asia and the National Democratic Institute. If one considers the  game plan, it has been and continues to be the elimination of all voices contrary to its own.

And what is old is once again new: Sullivan notes on page 93 that election monitoring of the past was characterized as suspect activity. Today this problem is simply repackaged when the “Situation Room”, a similar election monitoring meeting of like-minded s, was characterized as a threat by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Continue reading Michael Sullivan, Cambodia Votes: Democracy, Authority, and International Support for Elections (Book Review)