The National Democratic Institute on Wednesday moved its
political debates from a principle of "equity" to one of
"equality," a move election and party officials described as a
legally fair act.
The new debate schedule will ensure more time for smaller
parties but will take away some time from debate between the major parties. NDI
changed its schedule at the behest of the National Election Committee, which
had received complaints from smaller parties that the previous schedule had
"We changed our scheduled program debates to equality
for all political parties and reduced the number of scheduled debates from 31
to 22," Ly Sothearayuth, a senior NDI official, said Wednesday.
Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha called the change "justice for
political parties...which provides more interest to the
"And this move will benefit free and fair elections in
July," he said.
NEC Secretary-General Tep Nitha welcomed the NDI decision, describing
it as a "positive step in conformity with Cambodian election law and the
principle of democracy for all political parties."
"NEC and NDI are
moving to strengthen their cooperation to work toward free and fair
elections," he said.