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Parties Agree To Form Electoral Reform Commission

School children hand food to a young Rohingya girl at a temporary shelter in Bayeun, Aceh province, May 21, 2015.
Negotiators from the ruling and opposition parties say they have agreed on a commission for electoral reforms, a step toward ending a political deadlock that has been in place since July.

Officials say that each party will have six representatives on the commission, but no date has been set for a first meeting.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party delegation will be led by Son Chhay, a lawmaker-elect for the party. The Cambodian People’s Party delegation will be led by Prum Sokha, secretary of state for the Ministry of Interior.

The opposition has requested a meeting date for the potential commission of Feb. 27. “We are waiting only to decide when the commission will meet,” said Yem Ponhearith, a member of the Rescue Party. “We’ll talk about voter lists, components of the [National Election Committee], media and the date of the election,” he said.

Ruling party officials could not be immediately reached comment. Both sides have been at odds since July, when the opposition says it lost an election marred by irregularities and fraud.

Hang Puthea, head of the election-monitoring group Nicfec, said the move toward a commission was “very positive to address the political crisis.”