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Group Urges Political Parties To Focus on Reform Details

Ministry of Interior officials will meet with a delegation of opposition leaders this week to discuss complaints of political bias at the National Election Committee, file photo.

A group of NGOs is urging Cambodia’s two main political parties not to rush the election reform process.

Instead, the Electoral Reform Alliance says the ruling party and opposition should ensure they have completed the reform process before they open a National Assembly session, which would mark the beginning of a new government.

It has been more than a full year since national elections and the beginning of an opposition boycott. And end to that boycott was made possible by political deals between the ruling party and opposition last week.

But NGOs in the country, including rights advocates and election monitors, say the current compromise between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party is too vague and lacks deadlines.

In a statement Thursday, a coalition of NGOS called on both sides to ensure timely reform through an amended constitution and internal rules of the National Assembly “by November.”

They recommended an amended election law and new National Election Committee by late 2014 and a new voter list and system for voter registration by early 2016.