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Opposition Sam Rainsy Party Will Participate in the Senate Election

Opposition Sam Rainsy Party announced its decision to participate in the senate election on January 22nd 2006 even though it knows in advance that it will only receive no more than 5 seats. This move ends the indicisive option of a possible boycott because this election is not universal, and only the representatives and the Village Council can participate.

Sam Rainsy Party's members of parliament's President, Mr. Son Chhay said that his party takes part because it wants to fulfill its duty to the Khmer people.

The Sam Rainsy Party is waiting for the National Election Committee's (NEC) position, to see how easy it will be for an opposition party to participate in accordance with the regulations.

He said that if the election is universal like for the National Assembly, the Sam Rainsy Party will be able to get at least 12 seats.

According to the 2006 Senate election calendar which NEC revealed at a press conference this morning, the political parties can register between October 24 and November 18, 2005.

NEC's General Secretary, Mr. Tep Nitha said that he does not know how many parties will take part in the upcoming election.

Khmer People Front Party's Vice President, Ms. Suon Sokunthea, said her party will not participate in the election, because it will not be transparent and fair. She said that the elction law serves only the political parties having seats in the Senate and the Village Council.

NEC revealed its law and its 11-point internal regulations about the election publically this morning, giving two weeks time for the NGOs and the political parties to submit any memos or amendments. Comfrel's Executive Director, Mr. Kol Panha said that his organization does not have any amendments or memos regarding this draft because it can not accept the election law from the beginning.