Women of the Cambodian Spring

My lap top crashed during the campaign. This explains why I was not able to blog.

Now, going through the images of the campaign and slowly recognizing those moments of strength, energy and hope.

We started by whispering P’Dho! Change!

Then we added : Chneas! We Can!

And we did it: Democracy won!

But the ruling party wants to steal our victory.

We want an independent committee to bring justice to the 1.2 million who could not vote on election day. We have all the evidence.

The women of Cambodia defied all the cultural and social norms to scream : P’Dho!

The Cambodian Spring finally came after a very long winter that took 34 years.

P’Dho!

She sang her own song for change.

She sang her own song for P’dho.

She spoke her own words for change.

She spoke her own words for P’dho.

She took a ride from a man for change.

She took a ride from a man for P’dho.

She shared the same stage with men for change.

She shared the same stage with men for P’dho.

She took the lead for change.

She took the lead for P’dho.

She screamed for change.

She screamed for P’dho.

My Cambodian Spring sister. She was assigned to be my body guard and the opposition party agent at a polling station. We won. She broke down in tears. We embraced.

My Cambodian Spring sister. She was assigned to be my body guard and the opposition party agent at a polling station. We won. She broke down in tears. We embraced.

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5 responses to “Women of the Cambodian Spring

  1. Mu Sochua I keep reading that you have all the evidence for 1.2m voters deprived of their votes but I have not see any evidence written or posted anywhere. Where and when can anybody see this evidence? I for one would really like to know what evidence there is so that I can decided whether it is true or not. I know that if I had evidence and I really wanted to show it to people, I would have done this already. I don’t know why you and CNRP are saying you have the evidence all the time, but you are not showing it to people. Is it real or not?

    • Peter, read the NDI full report of the audit of voters list. Talk to voters who were turned away.

      You should ask: why security bags were unsealed and some torn open.

      Read the UN and EU recommendations on electoral reforms in Cambodia.

      • Peter Yallouros.

        Mu Sochua. Thanks for reply. Can you send me a link for the NDI report as I have not seen it. The security bags not being sealed properly I can believe because Cambodian workers are not the most efficient as times, and ones being torn open can also be from poor manhandling. Of course I can also accept that there may have been intentional tampering. But either way, not one or the other can be proven without specific and proper evidence.

      • Link to the press release

        http://www.ndi.org/files/TI-Cambodia-PR-072913.pdf

        More to come.

        The problem is that people keep on making up excuses to allow NEC to get away with their intentional “mistakes”.

        Cambodia needs to move forward and it starts with free and fair elections.

        We are talking about a difference of 200,000 votes for the entire elections.

        The evidence is more than clear unless one refuses to see.

        Listen to what the voters have to say at polling stations when they discovered their names were missing or used by ghost voters.

        Over 500,000 double names and over 900,000 voter certifications were issued by commune chiefs.

        All is reported by independent observers with years of election experience in and outside of Cambodia.

      • Peter Yallouros.

        Sochua, thank you for the link to NDI. I think I did in fact see this report but did not know who they were or what their authority was. So, at worst case scenario CPP could have obtained 46.8% and CNRP 46.2%. Since you have a first past the post system this would still make the CPP winner. So I cannot see why this is not being respected. Maybe first past the post is not the best way forward and the system needs to be reformed to a different one. Any ideas?
        I am not so sure if the mistakes are so intentional. If they were then I don’t think the elections could have been so close in the end. I can believe inefficiencies more as I have observed how inefficient and unprofessional some cambodian workers can be. This professionalism is another point that can be addressed and should be addressed. Perhaps it could be done more by independent bodies.
        I understand that the difference in the end was 200,000 votes and this no doubt has added to the frustration and speculation in place today. It was very close. It would have been worse if it was only down to 200 votes between the parties. At best this situation points, in my opinion only, to a hung parliament.
        I am independent enough not to take one side or the other, instead I choose the side of the Cambodian people as a whole. I am sure that these elections were not totally fair or transparent but these are all issues that can be addressed.
        I can imagine people’s frustration at not seeing their names on voters lists or realising that a ghost had noted for them. This is a problem that also needs reforming. I know of many people who have two names in Cambodia although I do not know for sure if they have two ID’s. whatever the situation it can be addressed. Maybe a solution is for all ID’s and papers from the communes to be scraped and a new special one off, only for elections, ID is issued two months before an election. So we would issue 9.5m ID’s total and maximum (if that is the number of total eligible voters) and only these are accepted on voting day. No duplicates, no copies, no second issues. Maybe they could be handed out sooner than two months so that people do not lose them. This was you can eliminate double, ghosts, floating voters taken from one station to another.
        I did see reports prior to the elections of some areas have 150% voter registration in some areas and different percentages higher and lower than that too. So it was clear to me that these elections were not going to be fair from the start, and in fact, I think they were unfair at the end of the day.
        So the real solution, going forward is electoral reform. You need to sit down and work out as transparent a system as you can for the next election and get this onto the statute books as soon as possible. Can you do this? Do you have the authority to do this? I for one would be more than happy to help you to draw up plans, suggestions and working papers to get such reforms through. Cambodia needs these reforms and the people need these reforms for them to have confidence in their system. Do you want to meet up to discuss?

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