The dissolution of CNRP has come amid political paranoid of Mr. Hun Sen to the feasible chance of losing power in the election of Senate in February 25, 2018 and the National Election in July 29, 2018.
Today is November 08, 2017, we would like to follow up the petition that we have sent to your office on October 23, 2017. During that 26th Anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreements, thousands of Cambodian compatriots have signed this online petition (www.change.org) to appeal for your attention to the current ongoing deterioration of Cambodia democracy. We attached here are the signatures and comments we collected on the October 23, 2017. We have received more signings of up to today.
Op-Ed: Phnom Penh Post
Migrant workers struggling to sign up to vote
There are few things more important to 29-year-old Yan Muon than voting.
Even though the maths student traded his studies in Cambodia for an electronics factory in Malaysia three years ago in hopes of earning more money, he always planned to return to vote.
Unfortunately, it has been “difficult for me”, Muon said in an interview two weeks ago. “My company always rejects my request [for time off] from one week to another.”
Muon is one of an estimated 1.5 million migrant workers living and working outside Cambodia who must return to the Kingdom to register to vote in next year’s crucial national election. Yet with two weeks left in the registration period, nearly three-quarters of the eligible voters that the National Election Commission was hoping to register have yet to sign up, according to numbers released by the body yesterday.
In interviews with five migrant workers over the past two weeks, none said they were able to return to Cambodia to register.
Many said the biggest challenge is getting time off work. Others said they could not afford the trip. Some cited political apathy.
Chem Phany, a 24-year-old Cambodian working at a factory in Thailand that produces windows and doors, said he wants to vote, but needs at least one week to travel to his hometown in Takeo province.
“My employers will not allow me to get a week’s leave,” he said. “At the same time, I need to spend $130 round trip and to have food to eat. So I can’t afford that.”
So Phany, a garment worker who has been living in Malaysia for 10 years, said her employer also refused to give her time off.
“I wish the government can offer another option, perhaps for us to organise a voting pool at the embassy, so I don’t need to take much time to vote and I can choose a leader for my country,” she said.
Others, like Sim Sarunn, a 26-year-old migrant working at a fruit-processing factory in Japan, were discouraged by the imminent dissolution of the opposition CNRP.
“I would feel regret for [missing] the next election if the opposition party was still there and different parties were competing with each other, but the ruling party now competes alone,” Sarunn said. “So I’m not interested in coming to vote. Even if I do, there’s nothing I can change.”
For local election monitor Comfrel, this is the outcome they feared.
“This is a real difficulty, a real challenge,” said Yoeurng Sotheara, Comfrel’s legal and monitoring officer.
1. Mr. António Guterres,
Secretary General, United Nations
– Mr. Joko Widodo,
President, Republic of Indonesia (Co-Chair of the 1991 Paris Conference on Cambodia)
– Mr. Emmanuel Macron,
President, The French Republic (Co-Chair of the 1991 Paris Conference on Cambodia)
2. His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia
– Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia
– Kem Sokha, President, Cambodia National Rescue Party
– Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
3. Retno Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Indonesia
4. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France
5. Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia
6. His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam
7. Chrystia Freeland, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Canada
8. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister, People’s Republic of China
9. Sushma Swaraj, Ministerof External Affairs, India
10. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan
11. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laos
12. Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Malaysia
13. Alan Peter Cayetano, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Philippines
14. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Singapore
15. Don Pramudwinai, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Thailand
16. Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Russia
17. Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom
18. Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State, United States of America
19. Phạm Bình Minh, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Viet Nam
BACKGROUND OF THIS PETITION:
The October 23, 1991 Comprehensive Cambodian Peace Agreement referred to as the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement consists of:
· The Final Act of the Paris Conference on Cambodia;
· Agreement on the Political Settlement of the Cambodia Conflict;
· Agreement Concerning the Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and Inviolability, Neutrality and National Unity of Cambodia
· Declaration on the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Cambodia.
This Paris Peace Agreement provided provisions to promote national reconciliation and to ensure the exercise of the right of self-determination of the Cambodian people through free, fair, and transparent elections. In addition, they provide for a ceasefire and cessation of outside military assistance and for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Cambodia. They also deal with Human Rights protection including the voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons and delineate the Mandate of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC).
On its 26th Anniversary, we, the Cambodian people of both domestic and abroad wish to collect one million signatures and send them to the party signatures countries of Paris Peace Agreement-Cambodia. The eighteen (18) countries included the French and the Indonesian Foreign Minister acted as co-Presidents. Also participating in his official capacity was the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Especially, the five permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We, the Cambodian people need to remind them that, Mr. Hun Sen is breaching and violating this Paris Peace Agreement; it is unacceptable! Therefore, we, the Cambodian people needed the party signatures countries more than ever to enforce the Paris Peace Agreement. The Dictatorial politics led by Mr. Hun Sen in Cambodia violated all the provisions in the Paris Peace Agreement. Cambodian people need your immediate intervention. Otherwise, Cambodia and her people will never live in with dignity, grace, and integrity.
VIOLATIONS OF PARIS PEACE AGREEMENT:
We condemn, in the strongest terms, the calculated and systemic crackdowns on Democracy– 1991 Paris Peace Accords, Opposition Parties, Non-governmental organizations, Unions, and Independent Media, ahead of the upcoming Senate election on January 14, 2018 and general parliamentary election on July 29, 2018. These recent political developments are strangling Cambodia’s fledgling democracy.
Continue reading Petition Collection and Sent out to Recipients on the 23rd of October 2017
Cambodian-Americans Call for International Pressure on Phnom Penh
Op-Ed: VOA Khmer
The conference also discussed the legacy of the Paris Peace Accords, which ended Cambodia’s civil war in 1991 and enshrined pluralist democracy in Cambodian law.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — More international pressure should be brought to bear on the Cambodian government, Cambodian-Americans and Cambodian-Canadians said at a conference in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday.
The speakers at the conference, organized by the Khmer People Network for Cambodia (KPNC), discussed solutions to the current political impasse, which has seen the ruling Cambodian People’s Party move to dissolve the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party and allocate its sets in parliament to minority parties and close critical media outlets.
Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, told participants that Prime Minister Hun Sen was leading an illegal “coup”.
“When you have a cold coup, there must be some public disapproval and public reaction. I don’t want anyone to get hurt but I believe it’s possible for people to show this,” he said.
He said that tens of millions of dollars in foreign aid were in jeopardy if the government continued down the same path it is currently taking.
“I can promise you that the gutless people who run institutions like the UN, the World Bank, the US State Department and the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affair will say, look, Cambodian people are not doing anything. Maybe they don’t really mind this,” he added. “No, I know that is not true at all. I am quite certain that if it’s a free and fair election, that Hun Sen would not have a chance. I have no doubt about that.”
Yem Rithipol, director of OMNI, an advocacy group based in the United States, said he hoped that as foreign aid was paid from tax dollars, Americans would consider withholding aid to apply pressure to the regime.
“If Americans find out that the American government wastes their money on a regime as well as acknowledging and cooperating with a regime considered a dictatorship [practicing] oppression, vote stealing … then the U.S. will react and demand aid be cut off,” he said.
The conference in Seattle was also a discussion about the legacy of the Paris Peace Accords, which ended Cambodia’s civil war in 1991 and enshrined pluralist democracy in Cambodian law.
Hun Sen, however, has recently called suggestions Cambodia should hold a new Paris conference “pointless”.
Van Sar, an activist from Washington State, compared the current government, which claims it is protecting Cambodian democracy by eliminating the opposition, with the Khmer Rouge, which labeled its state Democratic Kampuchea.
Seng Sophan, director of Election Committee for Cambodia, said next year’s planned election could not be “free and fair” if the opposition was dissolved.
“Then it will not only be the international community. Even its own citizens of 15 million people will probably condemn and consider that it is not free and fair. It’s just a political game to stay in power,” he said.
ស្របតាមស្ថានការណ៍ខ្មៅងងឹតនៃការបត់ក្បាលទៅរកលទ្ធិផ្តាច់ការដឹកនាំបែបឯកបក្សនៅកម្ពុជានាពេលបច្ចុប្បន្ន យើងខ្ញុំចុះហត្ថលេខាខាងក្រោមនេះដើម្បីស្នើរដល់អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិនិងប្រទេសហត្ថលេខីនៃកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីសថ្ងៃ២៣ ខែតុលា ឆ្នាំ១៩៩១ទាំងអស់ រួមគ្នាជួយដោះស្រាយបញ្ហាកម្ពុជាជាបន្ទាន់៖
- អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិនិងប្រទេសហត្ថលេខីទាំង១៨ប្រទេសមិនអាចព្រងើយកន្តើយចំពោះដំណើរដើរថយក្រោយនៃលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យដែលកំពុងកើតមានក្នុងប្រទេសកម្ពុជាសព្វថ្ងៃនេះទេ ជាពិសេសបំណងរបស់គណបក្សកាន់អំណាចដែលប្រាថ្នាចង់រំលាយនិងដកហូតអាសនៈសភារបស់គណបក្សជំទាស់គឺគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិមុនថ្ងៃបោះឆ្នោតឈានចូលមកដល់។
- ជំរុញអោយគណបក្សមានអាសនៈក្នុងសភាធំៗទាំងពីរគឺគណបក្សប្រជាជនកម្ពុជានិងគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិងាកមករកតុសន្ទនាគ្នាតាមស្មារតីនៃច្បាប់រដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញដើម្បីបង្កើតបរិយាកាសនយោបាយដែលមិនប៉ះទង្គិចដល់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរ និងអោយមានការដោះលែងអ្នកទោសនយោបាយទាំងអស់។
- ជំរុញអោយមានការបោះឆ្នោតប្រកបដោយសេរី យុត្តិធម៌ និងមានតម្លាភាព មិនមានការគំរាមកំហែងទៅលើគណបក្សនយោបាយនិងស្ថាប័នគណកម្មាធិការជាតិរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោត សំរាប់ការបោះឆ្នោតព្រឹទ្ធសភាថ្ងៃទី១៤ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ២០១៨ និងការបោះឆ្នោតរដ្ឋសភាថ្ងៃទី២៩ ខែកក្កដា ឆ្នាំ២០១៨ នាពេលខាងមុខនេះ។
Due to current political tension in Cambodia which is turning towards dictatorship leading by single-party government, we undersign to propose the United Nations and 18 signatory countries of the Paris Peace Agreement on October 23, 1991, to join together to solve the political problem in Cambodia in urgent.
- The United Nations and the 18 signatory countries could not ignore the ongoing setback of democracy development in Cambodia especially the intent of government-led party that is planning to dissolve and take away the parliamentary seats of the opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) prior to the upcoming elections.
- To urge the two largest political parties that have seats in the Assembly ie. Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) come to the dialogue table according to the spirit of Constitution to ensure normal political climate for Cambodian people, and to release those political prisoners.
- To urge a free, fair and transparent election, free of threats towards political parties and National Election Committee (NEC) for the upcoming Senate election in January 14, 2018 and the Parliamentary election in July 29, 2018.
Thank you very much,
Committee for Election Rights of Overseas Cambodians (The CEROC)