Thursday, 23 October 2014

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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Illegal Logging Ravaging the Last Forests, Activists Sayi
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22 October 2014
Forestry activists say at least 55,000 tons of luxury wood has been sent from Cambodia to China this year alone. Activists, from communities that live near some of Cambodia’s last forests, told reporters Wednesday that illegal logging is ravaging their homelands, as part of a “systematic” trade that includes the participation of high-ranking officials, authorities and security forces. (Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)

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