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Assembly Ready To Choose Members of Election Committee

Member of parliaments from the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) led by Mr. Sar Kheng, interior minister, meet with counterparts from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) led by party president Sam Rainsy to discuss the next steps in selecting members of the National Election Committee, Monday, April 6, 2015. (Courtesy of Sam Rainsy Facebook Page)

The National Assembly has been presented with a full list of 24 candidates for nine positions on the National Election Committee.

As the Assembly prepares to select the members, its women’s political committee urged that it select more women, and that a woman be chosen as president of the committee.

The selection of the NEC members comes after months of political wrangling and is a key part of political reform demanded by the opposition in the wake of major gains in 2013. Under the new rules, both parties will select four members, while both must agree on a ninth member. Among the 24 candidates, there is only one woman.

The Assembly’s committee to promote women in politics said in a statement Tuesday it would like to see one or two women selected by each party.

“If there is no consideration for young women and the new generation in this component of the NEC, it means there will be difficulty for the prosperity of the nation,” Ros Sopheap, executive director of Gender and Development for Cambodia, told reporters Tuesday.

Thida Khus, executive director of Silaka, said a committee comprised of mostly men will “dispute regularly,” which will undermine its efforts.

Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Chhim Phalvorun said not enough women had submitted applications to be considered for the committee.

Meanwhile the National Assembly is expected to finalize the decision on the NEC April 13.