More than five months after the Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodia National Rescue Party first announced a joint commitment to electoral reform following a September 16 meeting, specific measures have finally been agreed upon. The first official meeting yesterday of a bipartisan committee tasked with discussing election reforms agreed on “the organisation of voter registration and a voter list to guarantee and defend the voting rights of all people”, and that a law on political party finance be created, a joint statement says. While the two sides have agreed in principle on the need for a revamped voter list, details of how that could be practically implemented will only be decided after a yet-to-be-scheduled national workshop with relevant stakeholders, opposition spokesman and committee member Yim Sovann said last night.
The reform of electoral institutions, a mechanism to resolve election disputes, and equal access to media for all political parties was also discussed, party representatives said after the meeting, though no agreement has been reached on those issues.
They will be on the discussion table at a sit-down set for next Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, the head of the CPP’s delegation, and Son Chhay, a senior opposition figure and head of the CNRP’s delegation, said at a press conference following the more than four-hour-long meet between the six members of each party that make up the committee.
Missing voter names, partisan electoral institutions, unfair media access and use of state resources in campaigning have all been cited by watchdogs as key issues that undermined last July’s poll.
Full Article: Voter list overhaul eyed, National, Phnom Penh Post.