Slow Start for Joint Electoral Reform Commission

Slow Start for Joint Electoral Reform Commission
BY  AND  | MARCH 4, 2014

The ruling CPP agreed in principle to two of seven proposals put forth by the opposition CNRP on Monday during the first meeting of a joint electoral reform commission.

Emerging from a four-and-a-half hour meeting at the Senate, leaders of the CPP and CNRP working groups told reporters that they had agreed on the need to reform voter registration and create a new law on political financing.

A joint statement released following the meeting says the parties agreed to “organize voter registration and voter lists to guarantee and to protect people’s right to vote” and “organize the creation of a law on financing of political parties.”

The six-member delegations from each party agreed to continue electoral reform talks next Monday.

CNRP chief whip Son Chhay, who headed the opposition delegation, said the CPP declined to discuss five additional reform proposals until they had a chance to speak with senior CPP leadership.

Those points included reforming the composition of the National Election Committee and its local bodies, giving parties equal access to broadcast media, the creation of an independent body to settle electoral disputes, and measures to ensure the political independence of the military and civil service.

“They said [these points] have not been discussed among their leaders, so they asked to look into this for next time around,” Mr. Chhay said, adding that specifics of the reforms would be dealt with in later stages of the reform process.

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