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As Administration Prepares, Policy Questions


As the newly elected members of the National Assembly prepare to be sworn in later this month, questions remain over what the legislative body will look like and how fair it will be in representing the voters, an analyst said Tuesday.

The ruling Cambodian People's Party officially won 90 of 123 National Assembly seats in July's election, but Lao Monghay, a researcher at the Asian Human Rights Commission, warned Tuesday that the nine committees of the new parliament should reflect all parties.

The opposition Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties won 29 seats between them, representing about 1.7 million votes.

CPP officials have said they will not share with the opposition any of the nine committees, which include human rights, foreign relations, finance, health, social affairs, and others.

"They can do that by law, but it's loosing a democratic principle," Lao Monghay said. "If there is no representative of more than one million people's voice in the Assembly, it looks to fall short of democracy."

Meanwhile, he said, there has been little discussion of policy priorities in the wake of the election.

"I see only the winning party dragging smaller parties to join them, but not yet a discussion of national policy and what is the form of the government," Lao Monghay said.

There has also been no discussion on whether the CPP will rule alone or as a coalition, he said.

The new National Assembly will be sworn in at a ceremony Sept. 24, but both opposition parties have threatened to boycott the proceedings.

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