Cambodia

Assembly Approves National Election Committee, Despite Protests

Two new members of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party were elected to the committee, bringing the total number to nine.

NEC committee present their work to international diplomats in Cambodia, file photo. NEC committee present their work to international diplomats in Cambodia, file photo.
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NEC committee present their work to international diplomats in Cambodia, file photo.
NEC committee present their work to international diplomats in Cambodia, file photo.
Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - The National Assembly on Thursday voted in members of the National Election Committee, despite a boycott of the special session by members of two opposition parties.

Two new members of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party were elected to the committee, bringing the total number to nine. Im Sousdey, the incumbent and remaining chairman of the committee, told reporters Thursday the election body would adhere to election laws.

But opposition officials say the NEC will continue to favor the ruling party.

Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said that means the country will not hold free and fair elections next year.

The Sam Rainsy Party holds 26 of 123 seats in the Assembly, followed by three seats of the opposition Human Rights Party. The Cambodian People’s Party holds a vast majority of seats, 90, allowing it to pass legislation despite an opposition boycott.

Nevertheless, Koul Panha, executive director for the election monitoring Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said decisions by the NEC will find less legitimacy, due to the opposition’s boycott of the selection process.
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Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
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22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

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