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Youths To Discuss Political Participation

An independent election monitor plans to invite 60 youths to a seminar on Thursday to discuss the challenges facing young Cambodians interested in politics.

The Committee for Free and Fair Elections will host the one-day seminar in Kampong Cham province.

Participating youths will be encouraged to raise their concerns in social and political participation, especially with regards to political discrimination of youths in the political process.

"We have suffered from the separation of political tendencies and the disqualification of youth from political and social affairs," said Seng Rithy, chief of education and advocacy for the Khmer Youth Association. "So we have the opportunity to raise up the effort to push the new government to open more rights and freedom in politics for youth."

Politicians do not take care of youths interested in politics and social development, denying them opportunities for leadership, said Sok Na, a student at the Kampong Cham National School of Agriculture who plans to participate in Thursday's seminar.

"This seminar aims to find out the necessary requests and the needs of the youth to forward to political parties, especially the ruling party or the winning party, to compose the national political platform to serve the interests of the youth," said Koul Panha, executive director of Comfrel.

Cambodian People's Party lawmaker Cheam Yiep said Wednesday the ruling party "respects the rights and freedoms of politics by the people in conformity with the constitution."