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Senate Approves Contentious Election Reform Laws

Cambodian National Assembly, file photo.
Cambodian National Assembly, file photo.

Cambodia’s Senate on Monday passed two draft laws on election reform that passed the National Assembly last week.

The two drafts, which have been roundly criticized by pro-rights and democracy groups, are set to become law, needing now only the approval of the Constitutional Council and signature of King Norodom Sihamoni.

They are the result of months of negotiations between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.

But critics say the draft laws do not go far enough in creating true electoral reform and include provisions that limit freedoms of speech and assembly.