Friday, 23.3.2007: Civil Society Said That 20 Percent Of Khmer People Lost The Right To Vote

Posted on 24 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Civil Society officials who are involved in elections cautiously said on Wednesday that there are approximately 20 percent of the people with voting age who lost the right to vote.

“These data came from interviews with people everyplace. It was discovered that there were only 1.5 percent among the people who do not care about the election. Besides these who are not interested, the loss of the right to vote came from difficulties caused by procedures of the National Election Committee [NEC].

“A Committee for Free and Fair Elections [COMFREL] official said that people in some areas did not receive information about elections, or the importance of the elections. Especially people working far away from their registered residences must spend a big amount of money traveling to vote. Therefore, the election that requires them to spend their money surely makes them not interested in it.

“However, the official described that there are many Khmer people who showed their willingness to participate in the elections to select their local representatives. But some had not enough documents to be eligible to vote, because they were forcibly evicted by government officials who had used tricks to grab their land which made them homeless [and therefore not able to register at their place of residence]. It was known that Khmer people who had suffered, really did not want to go to vote for the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP]. That is the reason why they were made to lose the right to vote, and this is an intentional act of the NEC, managed by [NEC chairperson] Mr. Im Suosdey and [NEC secretary general] Mr. Tep Nitha, both CPP supporters.

“According to Mr. Hang Puthea, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free Elections in Cambodia [NICFEC], there have been recently irregularities under the supervision of the NEC. It was observed that the NEC did not care about or deal with complaints of other party representatives. The NEC allowed the CPP to violate electoral procedures as it wishes to make other parties have a standstill.

“The day of 23 March 2007 was already the eighth day of the Second Mandate Commune Council Election campaign.

“According to a report of COMFREL, it was seen that other parties were violated by CPP members in many cases during the election campaign, which is contrary to electoral procedures. Particularly, the Norodom Ranariddh Party has problems to which the NEC did not pay attention, as it is led by Im Suosdey.

“Meanwhile, there is a report saying that only a small number of the Khmer people who reach voting age in 2007 were registered in the new voting list, among the approximately more than 7 million voters.

Besides these, the 2005 existing voter list, which contained also one part of Yuon [Vietnamese] voters, was adopted. It clearly shows that the number of the Khmer young people who increase by 25,000 to 30,000 annually, do not receive adequate voter rights, same as the Khmer people who were evicted from various areas in the city of Phnom Penh, and the people involved in conflicts in the Boeng Pram area, Bavel, Battambang, and workers of rubber plantations in Kompong Cham.

Therefore, the majority of those who participate in the upcoming elections are CPP members and Yuon [Vietnamese] who are living in Cambodia.” Khmer Amatak, Vol. 8, #465,23.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 23 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1298, 23.3.2007

  • Singapore Has Intention To Invest In Sand In Cambodia [Mr. Lawrence Anderson, Singaporean Ambassador to Cambodia, mentions the project to buy sand for making glass]
  • Criticism That Authorities Were Unfair In Solving The Problem Of Buildings Occupied By Squatters [citizens residing along the seaside of the Royal Port, Koh Kong, were evicted]
  • Families Of Fishermen Who Lost Fishing Lot No. 4 Appeal To Civil Society For Help [Kompong Thom]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #465, 23.3.2007

  • Civil Society Said That 20 Percent Of Khmer People Lost The Right To Vote

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5998, 23.3.2007

  • Japanese Ambassador Praised The Royal Government Of Cambodia’s Efforts [peace and security for the people, developing the country, successes in international diplomatic relations]
  • [Phnom Penh Municipal Court] Claims That Prince Chakrapong Owes More Than One Million Dollar; The Norodom Ranariddh Party Held A Big Procession Today, As [party vice president] Prince Chakrapong Goes To Court
  • [Former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief] Heng Pov Was Sentenced To Seven Years In Jail [in addition to his existing life in jail], And [former First Deputy Chief of Penal Police Office] Ly Rasy Was Sentenced To Six Years For Illegally Detaining People
  • Official Meeting Between Singaporean And Laotian Diplomatic Officials And ADB Officials

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4243, 23.3.2007

  • The US Embassy Believes That The Prime Minister Will Use Revenue From Oil Appropriately To Develop The Country [US Ambassador Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli said about oil and gas revenue from 2009-2010 ‘I am optimistic that Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is a patriot, will try to make the country more developed like neighboring countries through the use of the resources to meet this target’]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2998, 23.3.20078

  • [Hong Kong-based] Asia Human Rights Committee Criticized the Cambodian Government For The Failure In Searching Perpetrators Of Major Crimes [murderers of Khmer singers and film stars such as Touch Sreynich, Piseth Pilika, and the event of 30 March 1997, when grenades were hurled on non-violent demonstrators led by Mr. Sam Rainsy in the front of the National Assembly, and the killing Chuo Chetharith, reporter of Ta Prum Radio, and so on]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #360, 23.3.2007

  • The National Assembly Closed its Plenary Session For Fear That Opposition Party Representatives Will Ask Hun Sen About Land Disputes
  • A Great Family Of Happiness In Cambodia — CPP Top Leaders Established Relationship By Marriages [among their sons and daughters]

Go to last week’s editorial

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