Cambodian NGOs Call for Election Committee Selected By Neutral Body

Cambodian NGOs Call for Election Committee Selected By Neutral Body

Op-Ed: RFA


NGO representatives outline a report on election irregularities at a press conference in Phnom Penh, Nov. 27, 2013.


Cambodia’s National Election Committee (NEC), which oversees the country’s polls, should be revamped with representatives picked by an independent panel in a transparent manner with the involvement of all stakeholders, a group of non-governmental organizations said in a report after investigating the latest disputed elections.

The Election Reform Alliance (ERA), consisting of eight nongovernmental organizations, said in the report that election reform must begin with the government-appointed NEC, which officially declared Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) the victor in the July 28 polls despite opposition allegations of fraud and other irregularities.

“The National Election Committee should be dismantled and a new, independent, and constitutionally-mandated election commission should be created with the authority, comprehensive jurisdiction, and budget to operate effectively,” the report said.

“Commissioners of this new body must be selected in a transparent manner with the involvement of all stakeholders,” it said. “Local electoral officials must also be recruited publicly by a selection committee composed of NEC and political party representatives.”

The ERA said that in light of the disputed election, which the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) maintains was stolen from it due to poll fraud, “mechanisms to resolve election conflicts and complaints must be reformed.”

It recommended the creation of a separate body, such as a special electoral prosecutor, special electoral court, inspector general or ombudsman, to investigate irregularities.

The CNRP had said that more than 1 million names had been removed from voter registries in July’s polls.

The ERA cited findings by the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel)—which along with other groups such as ADHOC, Licadho and NICFEC released the report—putting the number of missing names at 1.25 million.

NICFEC and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), another contributor, said that nearly 20 percent of names on the voter registration were invalid, either because they had permanently moved to another location, were deceased, or were unknown to members of the community.

The ERA also revealed instances of duplicate names, over-registration in certain districts and the use of invalid ballots during the election.

Undue influence

Rights groups and the opposition have long held that the NEC heavily favors the ruling party, pointing out that the commission’s headquarters are even based inside the Ministry of the Interior’s compound.

Continue reading Cambodian NGOs Call for Election Committee Selected By Neutral Body

Press Release on The Process of the Electoral Reform

Press Release on The Process of the Electoral Reform

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 12:06

Electoral Reform Alliance (ERA) would like to express its disappointment of with the meeting of the joint commission of the two political parties on the 10 of March 2014 which reached (substantial) result.

The joint commission must prepare an action plan for the electoral reform with clear timelines.

The joint commission must establish specific technical sub commissions to commence working on the agreed-upon election reform areas:

1.    National Election Committee
2.    Voter registration and voter list
3.    Media
4.    Electoral dispute resolution
5.    Enactment of law on political finance

The joint commission must meet more often in order to show genuine commitment to solve the problems of national interests.

The joint commission must focus on electoral reform areas that were agreed upon by the two parties.

For more information:
1.    Mr. Ny Chakrya        Head of monitoring section of ADHOC  011 27 49 59
2.    Mrs. Ros Sopheap     Executive Director of GADC         012 62 78 57
3.    Mr. Preab Kol        Executive Director of TIC        012 877 833
4.    Mr. Hang Puthea         Executive Director of NICFEC    012 95 96 66
5.    Mr. Yang Kim Eng     President of PDP-Center         016 82 82 11
6.    Mr. Koul Panha         Executive Director of COMFREL     012 94 20 17
7.    Mr. Sok Pitour        President of YCC            017 27 33 03
8.    Mr. Kean Ponlork        Vice President of DHRAC         012 55 14 66
9.    Mr. Hong Kimsuon    Chairman of CISA            012 94 55 05
10.    Mr. Pa Ngoun Teang    Executive Director of CCIM         060 40 99 99
11.    Mr. Yeng Virak         Executive Director of CLEC         012 80 12 35

Click here to download original in pdf

Independent UN expert welcomes electoral reform agreement in Cambodia

Op-Ed: UNs

Independent UN expert welcomes electoral reform agreement in Cambodia

Surya P. Subedi, Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Cambodia. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

6 March 2014 – An independent United Nations human rights expert hailed a five-point agreement reached today by Cambodia’s two main political parties to initiate electoral reforms in the country towards a more transparent process, and greater freedom of expression and right to public assembly.

“I welcome the agreements reached by the Joint Committee composed of members of the Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodian National Rescue Party to proceed, among other things, on two concrete measures for electoral reform: to review the voter registry and to elaborate a draft law on the financing of political parties,” said Surya P. Subedi, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.

“I hope with cautious optimism that progress toward the remaining unresolved issues would soon be made between the two parties.”

In a news release, Mr. Subedi stressed the importance of the agreement for the country, noting that the matters to be discussed by both political parties “are of concern to all Cambodians [and] are issues on which all Cambodians have the fundamental human right to express themselves, whether through demonstrations, marches or other means.”

Members of the opposition have been boycotting the Cambodian National Assembly since the middle of last year in a reported attempt to oust Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose win in July extended his 28-year rule, alleging vote-rigging and calling for a new election. The boycott escalated into demonstrations and deadly clashes with the police. A ban on demonstration was subsequently imposed in the Kingdom shortly thereafter.

Mr. Subedi welcomed the announcement made by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on 25 February to lift the ban. “Since its imposition, I have urged the Royal Government to remove the ban, which in my view was contrary to Cambodia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and its own constitution,” he said, though expressing concerns that some demonstrations may “continue to be blocked,” and persons are “still routinely detained for distributing leaflets encouraging workers to strike.”

Stating that the right to demonstrate and mobilize people to take part in demonstrations is “part and parcel of the right to peaceful assembly,” he emphasized that “the practice of arbitrarily detaining persons until they thumbprint a document agreeing to refrain from participating in future demonstrations is a violation of multiple human rights and must cease.”

Continue reading Independent UN expert welcomes electoral reform agreement in Cambodia

CNRP to walk away from talks

CNRP to walk away from talks

Thu, 13 March 2014

Negotiations between the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party and ruling Cambodian People’s Party looked like they might screech to an abrupt halt yesterday, as opposition leaders visiting supporters in Tbong Khmum province said they will “cut off” talks.

Speaking to about 1,000 supporters in the province’s O’Raing Ov district yesterday, CNRP president Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha said the talks were a “useless” attempt to “dupe foreign countries” into continuing to provide aid and called for renewed demonstrations.

“First, we stop negotiations. The talks are useless, because this [CPP working] group just delays [proceedings] to dupe foreign countries,” Rainsy said. “They said that the [Cambodia] National Rescue Party and [Cambodian] People’s Party have already agreed to negotiate, so give us money.

“So we will cut off negotiations and tell foreign countries not to give the money to [Prime Minister Hun Sen] the thief,” Rainsy said.

He added that dialogue would not restart until the CPP proved itself serious about National Election Committee reform – namely, by agreeing to key CNRP demands that NEC members should require approval by two-thirds of parliament and that it should be a constitutionally mandated body.

“When the NEC [will be] changed, we will talk more,” he said. “This time, there is not any choice besides [holding another] demonstration. So please all [citizens] prepare yourselves to hold a mass demonstration . . . to have 2 million people.”

Cheam Yeap, a senior CPP lawmaker, yesterday called on the CNRP to continue the talks, adding that the CNRP “cannot use demonstrations as a basis to resolve the problem”.

He said the government had no plans to reform the NEC until the next mandate.

“The NEC could change in the next mandate. We will not change it now,” he said.

Despite the public announcement of an end to talks by the CNRP leadership, senior party officials in Phnom Penh yesterday could not confirm whether negotiations – which include a planned Monday meeting of a joint election reform committee – were actually being called off.

Continue reading CNRP to walk away from talks

Rainsy Warns of New Demonstrations if NEC Not Reformed

Rainsy Warns of New Demonstrations if NEC Not Reformed
BY  | MARCH 13, 2014

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said Wednesday that the CNRP will renew mass demonstrations if the ruling CPP continues to reject a proposal to make the membership of the National Election Committee (NEC) more representative.

Speaking to supporters in Thbong Khmom province, which was recently created from an eastern portion of Kompong Cham province, Mr. Rainsy issued his protest warning after Monday’s second joint-party meeting on election reform stalled over the CPP’s rejection of the CNRP’s proposal that two-thirds of National Assembly lawmakers be required to agree on the appointment of new NEC members.

The NEC’s leadership is currently handpicked by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP. The CPP has said it will not consider the opposition’s proposal, which would end its control over the composition of the election organizing body.

Mr. Rainsy also said that his party will not attend next Monday’s meeting with the CPP if the proposal to reform the NEC is not accepted.

“First, we stop negotiations,” Mr. Rainsy said in a video of the event that was posted to his Facebook page.

“They [the CPP] just wants to waste our time cheating foreigners—not Cambodians, as Cambodians know this well.”

“They make [foreigners] confused that we are getting along and are in the process of negotiations, [so they can ask] ‘please give us [aid] money,’” he said.

“So we stop negotiations and tell foreigners not to give money to these thieves. If they don’t agree to change the NEC, it means that they want to steal votes so there can be no talk. When they change the NEC, we will talk.”

Demonstrations will be the only alternative, Mr. Rainsy added.

“We will prepare another demonstration,” he said.

Continue reading Rainsy Warns of New Demonstrations if NEC Not Reformed

លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ចោទ CPP ថា​គ្មាន​ចេតនា​ចរចា​ពិត​ប្រាកដ

លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ចោទ CPP ថា​គ្មាន​ចេតនា​ចរចា​ពិត​ប្រាកដ

Op-Ed: Post Khmer
មាស សុខជា


លោក​ សម រង្ស៊ី ប្រធាន​គណ​បក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​ ក្នុង​សន្និសីទ​កា​សែត​មួយ​កន្លង​មក​។ រូបថត ផា លីណា

ភ្នំពេញៈ មេ​ដឹក​នាំ​គណបក្ស​ប្រឆាំង​បាន​ប្រាប់​ទៅ​សហគមន៍​អន្តរជាតិ តាម​រយៈ​លិខិត​មួយ​កាល​ពី​ម្សិលមិញ​ថា ការ​ចរចា​រវាង​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន និង​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ លើ​ប្រធានបទ កែ​ទម្រង់​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត ត្រូវ​ផ្អាក ដោយ​សារ​តែ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​មិន​ព្រម​ជជែក​ពី​ការ​រៀបចំ គ.ជ.ប. ឡើង​វិញ​ដែល​នេះ «ជា​យុទ្ធវិធី​របស់​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​ដើម្បី​ក្រាញ​អំណាច»។

លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ប្រធាន​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ បាន​សរសេរ​លិខិត​មួយ​ទៅ​សហគមន៍​អន្តរជាតិ​កាល​ពី​ម្សិលមិញ ដើម្បី​ប្រាប់​អំពី​បញ្ហា​ជម្លោះ​នយោបាយ​ដែល​កំពុង​បន្ត​មាន​បន្ទាប់​ពី​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​នៅ កម្ពុជា។

នៅ​ក្នុង​លិខិត​លោក សម រង្ស៊ី បាន​ចោទ​ប្រកាន់​ថា យុទ្ធវិធី​របស់​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន ក្នុង​ការ​ចរចា គឺ​គ្រាន់​តែ​ជា​ការ​ពន្យារ​ពេល ដើម្បី​ក្រាញ​អំណាច​ដែល​នឹង​ធ្វើ​ឲ្យ​អនាគត​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​មាន​ភាព​អាប់អួរ។

លោក សរសេរ​ថា៖ «ការ​ចរចា​រវាង​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា និង​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ ស្តីពី​កំណែ​ទម្រង់​កំពុង​ជាប់​គាំង​ដោយ​សារ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​មិន​ព្រម​ចរចា​ការ​ផ្លាស់​ប្តូរ​សមាសភាព​នៃ​ស្ថាប័ន​គណៈកម្មាធិការ​ជាតិ​រៀបចំ​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត ដែល​សំខាន់​ចំពោះ​ការ​រៀបចំ​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​នា​ពេល​ខាង​មុខ ហើយ​ដែល​បច្ចុប្បន្ន​ស្ថាប័ន​នេះ ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្រោម​ការ​គ្រប់​គ្រង​របស់​គណបក្ស​កាន់​អំណាច»។

លោក សម រង្ស៊ី បាន​លើក​ឡើង​ជា​ថ្មី​ទៀត​ថា ដើម្បី​ដោះស្រាយ​ភាព​ជាប់​គាំង​នយោបាយ​បច្ចុប្បន្ន និង​ការពារ​មិន​ឲ្យ​មាន​អស្ថិរភាព​នយោបាយ​និង​ដើម្បី​ពិភាក្សា​បញ្ហា​ភាព​ស្រប​ច្បាប់​នៃ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល កម្ពុជា គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​ទាមទារ​ឲ្យ​មាន​ការ​ស៊ើប​អង្កេត​ឯករាជ្យ​ទៅ​លើ​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​ឆ្នាំ​មុន​ឬ​រៀបចំ​ឲ្យ​មាន​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​ជា​ថ្មី​មុន​អាណត្តិ​ខណៈ​ដែល​ការ​ទាមទារ​ទាំង​ពីរ​នេះ​ត្រូវ​បាន​ច្រាន​ចោល​ដោយ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន។

Continue reading លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ចោទ CPP ថា​គ្មាន​ចេតនា​ចរចា​ពិត​ប្រាកដ