Cambodia

No Reform of National Election Committee, Ministry Says

Election monitors say the reform of the NEC and some election regulations is necessary for free and fair elections.

A woman finds her name on a list during a local commune election in Phnom Penh, June 3, 2012.A woman finds her name on a list during a local commune election in Phnom Penh, June 3, 2012.
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A woman finds her name on a list during a local commune election in Phnom Penh, June 3, 2012.
A woman finds her name on a list during a local commune election in Phnom Penh, June 3, 2012.
Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - The Ministry of Interior will not change the composition of the National Election Committee ahead of 2013 elections, an official told reporters Thursday, following talks with a delegation of opposition officials.

Prum Sokha, secretary of state for the ministry, said a change of the NEC now would necessitate the cancelation of the election and would create social instability.

Opposition officials said they will now consider whether to contest the elections at all.

Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said more than 1.5 million people were unable to vote in commune elections in June, thanks to complicated registration and voting procedures and potential interference from local officials loyal to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Lawmakers from the Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties have formed a consolidated opposition in the Cambodian National Rescue Party. But Yim Sovann said that the party now must consider whether to contest the elections. With no change in the NEC, “we know the result already,” he said, referring to the vote.

Election monitors say the reform of the NEC and some election regulations is necessary for free and fair elections.

Koul Panha, executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, a monitoring group, said NEC reform is “crucial” for improved elections that are acceptable to all parties.
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Protesters Again Demand Vietnamese Apology Over Kampuchea Kromi
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21 July 2014
Thousands of demonstrators, including students and monks, gathered in front of the Vietnamese Embassy on Monday, calling again for an apology for alleged remarks made about Vietnam’s ownership of the Mekong Delta. Many Cambodians remain angered that the area, called Kampuchea Krom, or Lower Cambodia, in Khmer, was partitioned to Vietnam by the French in 1949. The region, called Cochinchina by the French, was ruled by various Vietnamese factions since the mid-1600s, before it was colonized by the French in 1862. The region was merged into Southern Vietnam by the Geneva Accords in 1954. (Khoun Theara, Phnom Penh)

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