Tag Archives: Electoral reform

SRP claims ruling party busted for vote-buying

The courage of our elected councilors who will vote this week-end to choose members of the Cambodian senate, deserves more than respect.

CPP vote buying tactics are revealed each time by these very brave grassroots councilors.

“You can threaten us, you can try to buy us but you will never have our votes”, that is the message to CPP.

Is there no shame?

Next step: how will the National election Committee going to deal with this case.

SRP has long talked about CPP vote buying.

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Young Women for Democracy- Ramdoul

“I am confident that people will vote for me because I am from this village. I am involved in the struggle of the people to find better ways for their daily survival" - Ramdoul

Born in the Barkrateh village (in Khmer “the broken cart”) , Ramdoul is one of seven children in a family where education has always been a priority. Her parents worked as sellers in the market but their income was very limited. However they were able to loan Ramdoul enough money to attend the Battambang University.

At 25, she already has completed her Bachelor’s` degree in accounting and has been an active party member since 2006. She leads the youth movement in this cluster of villages with skills and experiences she has acquired from youth training from the International Republican Institute(IRI) and her active participation in the Sam Rainsy Party Youth Wing

Her commitment to the empowerment of youth has gained her great recognition from her peers and the party leadership.

She will run for the first time as candidate for the 2012 commune elections. The party is confident that she will win her seat and has trusted her with a winning position on the party list, in Battambang province-North West of Cambodia.

Detained Illegally – Freed by Sam Rainsy Party MPs (video)

 Hear the cry for justice. Take action and do not watch passively.
Write to your local and national politicians about these abuses.
Cambodia is hosting ASEAN . President Obama and Sec. Clinton are expected to attend. We need to tell each story of abuse, in particular of women’s human rights violations as Sec. Clinton is a champion of women’s human rights.
USA should not just think about a strategic presence in ASEAN. USA, like any other country that preach human rights, must come with a very clear message:
Free and fair elections for true and not facade of democracy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi_QUruC–c&list=UUWyICQWsoVEnvBoKtzxuUNg&index=1&feature=plcp

Cambodian awarded Nobel prize of Asia

Koul Panha is a true believer of free and fair elections. His team of local observers know the real flaws of the electoral process in Cambodia.

Democracy starts with free and fair elections. Uneven level playing field set a wrong start for democracy.

EU election observers in Cambodia rated the 2008 parliamentary elections in Cambodia as “falling far short of international standards”.

Less than one year before local elections in Cambodia and 4 million Cambodians have expired I.D. cards while another 2 million need new I.D. cards.

The opposition and civil society working together to demand a new and clean voter list and equal access to media-99% controlled by the Cambodian People’s Party, lead by former Khmer Rouge that has ruled Cambodia over 30 years.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Cambodian awarded Nobel prize of Asia

Friday, 29 July 2011 15:01
Daniel Sherrell
Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian citizen Koul Panha has been awarded the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, often referred to as Asias Nobel peace prize, for his work with the Committee for Free and Fair Elections.

He is one of six people to receive this years award, which will be presented to them at a ceremony in Manila on August 31.

He is being recognised for his determined and courageous leadership of the sustained campaign to build an enlightened, organised and vigilant citizenry who will ensure fair and free elections as well as demand accountable governance by their elected officials in Cambodias nascent democracy, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said.

In an interview with The Post, Koul Panha said he was surprised and excited to receive the award.

Koul Panha is executive director of Comfrel, which seeks to increase electoral transparency and voter participation.
Since 1997 it has enlisted more than 50,000 election volunteers and held election-related workshops for about 150,000 voters, he said.

Koul Panha said the award would encourage his organisation to work harder, especially in preparation for the commune elections next year and national elections in 2013.

We will deploy our volunteers to inform people about the importance of elections and their right to vote, as well as advocating electoral fairness, integrity and an even playing field for all [political] parties, he said.

The history of Cambodia is full of conflict. People want, finally, to enjoy democracy and fair elections.

The award is named after a president of the Philippines who died in a plane crash in 1957. The foundation that oversees the award was established by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to honour his memory and perpetuate his example of integrity in public service and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society.

Koul Panha will receive a certificate, a cash prize and a medallion emblazoned with the image of Ramon Magsaysay. A total of 290 people in 22 Asian countries have been given the award.

Posted by CamWatch at Friday, July 29, 2011

Free and fair elections-Reforms Needed in Cambodia

Mu Sochua Interview with Radio Free Asia/ 14 July, 2011, in Khmer.

http://www.rfa.org/khmer/indepth/interview_musochua-07132011033659.html

Radio Free Asia: Has there been any reforms of the electoral process?

Mu Sochua: yes, but minor reforms.

RFA: If Mr. Sam Rainsy is prevented from returning to Cambodia, will the party look for a substitute?

MS: It is out of the question. The real problem is electoral reforms. Mr. Sam Rainsy is a victim of political persecution. If his legal records are not cleared, his does not have a chance to stand as a candidate for election. I am also a victim of this political persecution. Does it mean that I also have to be replaced as a candidate? it is not for the victim for find solution. It is for reforms to happen in order for free and fair elections to be guaranteed.

RFA: What is SRP strategy for the return of Mr. Sam Rainsy?

MS: the party is calling on the signatories of the Paris Peace Accords to reconvene and to review the conditions put forward in the 1991 Paris Peace Accords. Free and fair election, non-violence, democracy, these are all part of the accords. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression must be upheld, that is part of the accords.

RFA: Is mass demonstration – Malaysia style something SRP is considering despite recent government crackdowns?

MS: We are not at mass demonstration yet. We hope to have all stakeholders come together to find solutions. We do not see this as just SRP responsibility. We, as Cambodians must share the same task to push for electoral reforms. We call on all Cambodian citizens to defend their fundamental right: the right to vote. Demonstrations are our rights that we can exercise.

RFA: If Mr. Sam Rainsy can not return, will SRP consider a mass demonstration?

MS: there is no “f”. For election to be called free and fair, Mr. Sam Rainsy must return. Mass demonstration is one of the solutions.

A HARD ROAD TO DEMOCRACY

Analysis: A hard road to democracy

Monday, 11 July 2011 15:00

Mu Sochua

The Phnom Penh Post

Prime Minister Francois Fillon of France granted an exclusive interview to The Phnom Penh Post on the eve of his two-day visit to Cambodia last month.

Fillon was totally correct to remind Cambodia that democratic institutions must benefit everyone. They are essential pillars of democracy.

The challenge of building these institutions begins with the political will of leaders who have been chosen by their people to lead.

Most important of all, the true challenge is the commitment to an inclusive system of governance and mechanisms that allows voices to be heard and differences of opinion to be brought to the attention of those in charge.

Judging by these basic principles of democracy, Cambodia has a long way to go. It begins with the practice of winner takes all at the National Assembly.

Since the 2008 general election which European Union observers rated as far below international standards the Cambodian Peoples Party has controlled 90 of the 123 seats.

During each parliamentary debate, senior CPP members of parliament refer to themselves as: we, the 90 seats and remind other elected representatives that the people of Cambodia have given them the power to lead the country.

They truly believe it is their full right to conduct business without any obligation to include the opposition, unless for ceremonial reasons. Such a mindset is a serious barrier to democratisation.

Democratic institutions must be sustained by public officials and civil servants whose expertise, experience and knowledge ensure that services to the people are rendered equally and without political interference. Elected leaders and public civil servants have one thing in common: the obligation to maintain a high sense of ethics.

This is another challenge to democratisation: the heavy and active presence of judges and court officials who are members of the central committee of the ruling party.

Like civil servants in all other public institutions, court officials must pledge their allegiance to the CPP.

Every weekend, officials from each ministry and department join CPP working groups to pay visits to the grassroots, using state resources and often with gifts for the rural poor. This system of patronage is totally contrary to a strict code of conduct and respect for ethics.

In the past 20 years, Lithuania, a small country that spent 50 years under a Soviet regime, has built strong democratic roots, a striving civil society and a vibrant multi-party system.

The president of the Lithuanian parliament is a woman, and the first vice-president is a woman from the opposition party.

The parliamentary commissions on finance and audit are reserved for the opposition for check and balance, and the opposition leader is first to have the floor during debates.

Where is the hope for democratisation in Cambodia? That light of hope shines each time our villagers stand up to defy arrests.

Networks of the opposition are tightly woven in the countryside, despite the absence of their leader. Workers have called out for general strikes for better wages.

Women take an active part in that grassroots movement.

The women of Beoung Kak lake who were re-arrested last Thursday are part of the hope, and their fearless fight for dignity is joined by other victims of injustice throughout Cambodia.

The only way to stop those people fighting for justice is for the ruling party to realise that sharing power is a must.

And it must begin with dialogue and with the recognition of peoples rights and freedom.

Oppressive regimes will always come to an end. The world movement for change has proven so.

More than 1,400 opposition members were arrested at the weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Is this a sign of an Asian storm coming?