Free and Fair Elections- A matter that concerns us all

 

These recommendations are sound and based on EU recommendations as well as opinions of political parties and local committee for free and fair elections.

The recommendations protect the constitutional rights of voters as well as candidates.

it is all feasible and crucial for the protection of democratic principles.

Immediate steps must be taken. The term of the current NEC is coming to an end .

The Cambodia Democratic Movement for National Rescue will propose amendments  of the existing laws as mentioned in the UN report.

 

 

 

 

August 28, 2012

UNITED NATIONS CALLS FOR DRASTIC REFORM OF
CAMBODIA’S ELECTION SYSTEM AND RETURN OF OPPOSITION LEADER PRIOR TO
JULY 2013 POLLS

In his most recent report published on August 27, 2012, the United
Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia addresses the
issue of election organization.

“There are major flaws in the administration of elections in Cambodia
and urgent and longer-term reforms are needed to give Cambodians
confidence in the electoral process and in the workings of the
National Election Committee,” Professor Surya Subedi wrote in the
report.

“If the electoral process is unable to command the trust and
confidence of the electorate, the very foundation of the Cambodian
political and constitutional architecture embodied in the Paris Peace
Agreements will be shaken and the country may run the risk of a return
to violence.”

SUMMARY

In order for Cambodia’s elections to meet “international standards for
democratic elections” Professor Subedi makes the following
recommendations regarding preparations for the national polls to be
held in July 2013:

1- The National Election Committee (NEC) should be reformed so as to
have independent and autonomous status.

2- There should be consensus among the major political parties
represented in the parliament on the appointment of the president and
members of the NEC and the provincial election committees (PECs).

3- Election bodies at all level should have balanced representation of
all political parties in the National Assembly.

4- The president and members of the NEC and the PECs should be
appointed for a fixed term and have security of tenure.

5- New judicial bodies and mechanisms must be established outside the
NEC in order to resolve election-related disputes properly.

6- All major political parties should have fair and equal access to
the mass media to convey their messages to the electorate. The way
forward could be to establish an independent committee on the
management and use of state-run television and radio stations.

7- The government must ensure that all civil servants, police and
military personnel do not participate in political activities or use
government resources while working in their official capacities.

8- The government must ensure that opposition parties are free to
carry out their political activities without harassment and
intimidation, not only around the dates of elections but also in the
lead-up to the elections and throughout the parliamentary cycle.

9- Regarding the registration of voters the government should provide
necessary documents, Khmer nationality identity cards, passports and
other necessary civil registration documents to all citizens for
nominal fees and should reregister voters using the data from those
cards as a basis to establish a new electoral roll.

10- Any Cambodian citizen eligible to vote should be entitled to
request registration with the electoral and/or local authorities at
any point during the year. Once he or she is issued with an
identification card, that card should be valid for life.

11- Regarding the continuing problems with voter identity documents,
especially the issuance and use of fraudulent documents (such as the
old form 1018 and its current version) the NEC should review the
process of issuing such documents to ensure that the system is not
abused by political parties in their favour and that there are no
electoral malpractices.

12- The NEC should devise special measures to ensure that those who
are homeless or have been recently evicted from their land are not
disenfranchised in the forthcoming elections.

13- The NEC should make public the names of polling officers and make
the voter list available to candidates from all political parties upon
request, affording them an opportunity to challenge the fraudulent
inclusion of names on the list.

14- The NEC should appoint professional election administrators to
replace village chiefs during voter registration and on election day
and bring all commune election officers and processes under its own
stricter supervision mechanism.

15- The current law, which requires a person to be nominated to stand
for election by a political party, should be amended to make it
possible for independent candidates to stand in the national
elections.

16- The NEC should make it possible for Cambodians living abroad to
exercise their voting rights, at least in the countries where it has
diplomatic and/or consular representation.

17- Regarding the situation of Sam Rainsy, the leader of the Sam
Rainsy Party, who has been convicted on charges that are allegedly
politically motivated, a political solution should be found to enable
him, as the leader of the opposition, to play a full role in Cambodian
politics.

Read full text at
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session21/A-HRC-21-63_en.pdf

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