A coalition of 18 organizations issued 15,000 booklets
Monday that were aimed at raising awareness of the attitude and intentions
toward freedom of information of the country's 11 competing political parties.
"The Platform Summary for Freedom of Information on the
Eleven Political Parties Participating in the National Election," a
16-page summary of each party's political position on freedom of information,
will be distributed to non-governmental agencies, political parties and voters,
the group said.
All of the parties reported in the summary said they supported
the passage of a law on the freedom of information, which was drafted in July
"The Freedom of Information Law is very important for
Cambodians, because it allows citizens to have admission to information held in
public bodies, whether the local commune council or a government
department," according to a statement by the Advocacy and Policy
The Institute published the platform survey in conjunction
with the Freedom of Information Working Group, which includes 18 organizations,
including election monitors and prominent rights groups.
The law would "give the right for people to know about
budgets and the cost of projects, for the media to have access to information
on the procurement of ministerial projects, for members of parliament and
government officials to have more access to information held by public
institutions for investigations and audits," the institute said.
"Awareness of the freedom of information in Cambodia is
limited," said Yung Kim Eng, president of the People's Center for
Development and Peace, which was part of the working group. "It is very
difficult to get important information, such as a draft law or national budget
or contract on economic land concessions."