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Election Committee Reform Team Nearing Compromise

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, second from right, shakes hands with the main opposition party leader Sam Rainsy, left, of Cambodia National Rescue Party, as Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, second from left, looks on after a meeting in Senate headquarter, file photo.

Members of the ruling party and opposition say they are close to reaching an agreement on reform of the National Election Committee.

A working group comprised of lawmakers from both sides have been meeting since a political deal in July, seeking a compromise that would create an election body that both sides can agree on.

That has meant a formula in which the ruling party selects four NEC members, the opposition selects four more, and both sides agree on a ninth member.

Officials said Monday they would finalize their positions by Nov. 17, leaving some of the toughest points to top leaders of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party to negotiate.

Bin Chhin, working group leader for the CPP, said both sides have reached many compromises, but some sticking points remain.

Among those is whether a member of the NEC can have dual nationalities, such as Vietnamese and Cambodian.

Kouy Bunrouen, leader of the working group for the Rescue Party, said each side needs to discuss more on the selection of the secretary-general and deputy positions, as well as the nationality issue.