Archive for July 13th, 2007

Thursday, 12.7.2007: America Concerned about Unfairness in 2008 Election

Posted on 13 July 2007. Filed under: Week 516 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 516

“The United States of America expressed concern over the fourth term parliamentary election in Cambodia. The concern focuses on the partiality of the National Election Committee [NEC] towards the ruling Cambodian People’s Party [CPP].

“In a meeting with senior leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party [SRP] at their headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday, two officials of the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, Mr. Gregory Lawless [Political/Economic Chief at the embassy] and Mr. Chea Sokha, told Ms. Mu Sochua, the Secretary-General of the SRP, and Mr. Keo Phirum, the Deputy Chief of [Sam Rainsy’s] cabinet, that the US is concerned about the arrangements for the election, that it will not be conducted neutral, free, and fair.

“Ms. Mu Sochua said that the SRP showed the two US Embassy officials the reports concerning many irregularities in previous elections, especially the second term Commune and Subdistrict Council Elections on 1 April 2007. She continued that from today on, the NEC tells the village chiefs – most of them are from the CPP – to delete the names of dead people, displaced people, people whose names are duplicate, and immigrants, from the lists. She stated that the partiality in the deletion of names may be up to 99%.

“In the meeting, Ms. Mu Sochua told the US diplomats that the SRP wants the deletion of names to be conducted with the participation by political party agents and non-government organizations, because most commune clerks, commune chiefs, and village chiefs are CPP agents or activists.

“Ms. Mu Sochua went on to say that the SRP asked the Ministry of Interior to facilitate the issuing of identification cards to the citizens, especially to the youth who have just reached the age of voting, and to whom identification cards have to be issued soon so they can register their names and verify their names for the 2008 election.

“The two US Embassy officials took the request into their report on the SRP in 2007 to send it to the US government, and vowed to help push the fourth term parliamentary election in Cambodia to be conducted so that it is free, fair, and transparent.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #450, 12.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 12 July 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1389, 12.7.2007

  • Thomico: Doing Politics Like Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Does, Monarchy Will Dissolve in 2008
  • More Than 200 kg of Dried Marijuana Transported and Abandoned [by unknown people] in Sihanoukville
  • Thailand Will Ban Use of Mobile Phones While Driving [in order to reduce traffic accidents]
  • IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] Invited [by Pyongyang] to Send Inspectors to North Korea

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6089, 12.7.2007

  • [Cambodian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fully Supports Chinese Government While Taiwan Wants to Enter UN
  • Japanese Investors Interested in Investments in Cambodia
  • Three State Rubber Plantations [Chamkar Andoung, Boeng Ket, and Memut] in Kompong Cham Put for Bids for Investment

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4334, 12.7.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah Gives Green Light Again for Meeting between Officials of Norodom Ranariddh Party and Funcinpec
  • Cambodia Condemns Acts [of Taiwan] Which Contradict One-China Policy [according to recent reports, Taiwan is increasing its activities to hold a referendum to support Taiwan’s entry into the UN]
  • Japan Decides to Help Study Cambodia’s Master Plan on Underground Minerals and Gas

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3084, 12.7.2007

  • PACT [NGO in Cambodia] Plans to Collects 1 Million People’s Thumbprints to Urge the Government to Speed Up Anti-Corruption Law
  • Did Cambodian People’s Party Give Money to Kem Sokha to Create Party? [rumor says Kem Sokha is supported by Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Investors Fed Up with Corruption and Application Procedures at CDC [Council for the Development of Cambodia]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #450, 12.7.2007

  • US Concerned about Unfairness in 2008 Election
  • Nhek Bun Chhay [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Accepts Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] as President Again at Hun Sen’s Order

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Wednesday, 11.7.2007: Election Observers Concerned about Recruitment of NEC New Staff Members Who Are Political Activists

Posted on 13 July 2007. Filed under: Week 516 |

Apologies for the delay – I was on a 32 hours international travel. Tuesday following soon.

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 516

“The National Election Committee [NEC] announced the recruitment of 245 new staff members to work for the elections. The 245 new staff members are to correct the old lists of voters in 2007, as the wrong lists are to be corrected, preparing for the 2008 election, the fourth term national election.

“However, election observers from COMFREL [Committee for Free and Fair Elections] and NICFEC [Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia], neutral election observers, stressed that any recruitment of staff members must not be partial towards political parties. Though the NEC affirmed that the recruitment of 245 staff members to work for the elections is not partial towards political parties, it is very difficult for the observers to believe.

“Nowadays, the NEC is controlled almost completely by the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP], because the president and the secretary-general of this committee are top officials of the CPP. Most workers at the NEC are also members of the CPP. For every election, the NEC always announces the recruitment of observers, but most of the people recruited are CPP activists.

“Therefore, every election has irregularities, and although there are complaints from different political parties, the NEC never solves issues fairly and by law. The NEC often says the complaints of the other parties are ‘groundless.’

“Now, when the NEC announced the recruitment of 245 new staff members to work for the elections, some observers are concerned that the staff members recruited may be political activists who have already been organized by the CPP. The NEC affirmed that the recruitment of new staff members is to correct a number of lists which are wrong, especially the lists which were used for the second term Commune and Subdistrict Council Elections in 2007 [1 April 2007], because the NEC is now preparing for the fourth term national election which will be held on 27 July 2008. Thus, staff members are needed to correct the lists.

“According to some diplomats and observers, if the voter lists for the Commune and Subdistrict Elections in 2007 were wrong, the elections were also not fair, but why did the NEC accept the results of the elections?

“Nevertheless, a senior official of the Ministry of Interior affirmed that in Cambodia, with the CPP, the stronger one is the winner, they do not think about laws and democracy. Hence, now because the CPP won the elections, the NEC accepted the results with two hands [= very pleased to accept] and announced that the results are appropriate, but if the CPP lost the elections, the NEC would be unlikely to do so, because some polling stations in which the CPP lost, the NEC wanted to reject the results with CPP backing as well.

“On Monday 9 July 2007, Beijing provided electoral equipment worth approximately $1.3 million to the NEC. However, some diplomats affirmed that there is nothing to be surprised by the Chinese assistance, because the habit of China is to help the one which is strong and in power, it never thinks about democracy or the living situation of the citizens. Beijing even supported and provided assistance to the Khmer Rouge that committed mass killings, and of course also to the current regime, for what reason should China withdraw itself? Moreover, at this time, China needs the Khmer leaders to help it through the Khmer Rouge Trial, and it also needs Cambodia as a central point for its political economy.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3207, 11.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Areyathor, Vol.14, #1251, 11-12.7.2007

  • Politicians Seek Power and Wealth [about those who leave one party to join another]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1388, 11.7.2007

  • This Morning, Prince Thomico and More Than 20 Subordinates Announce Joining Funcinpec Officially
  • Civil Society Organizations and Royal Government Working Group Discuss Making Law on Right to Access to Information
  • Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association Acknowledges that Lower Secondary School Exams This Year Are Good
  • Floods and Landslides Kill Nearly 100 People in China

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #495, 11.7.2007

  • Kem Sokha Starts Attacking Sam Rainsy in Order to Compete for People [hinting that he may reveal SRP scandals]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6088, 11.7.2007

  • Two Suspects Arrested in Killing of Head of [forest] Community in Stung Treng

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3207, 11.7.2007

  • Election Observers Concerned about Recruitment of National Election Committee New Staff Who Are Political Activists
  • Cambodian People’s Party Military Chiefs Say When There Is War, Soldiers Are Needed, but When the Country Has Peace, Corrupt Officials Are Needed
  • Hun Sen Must Dare to Reveal Those Who Steal from the Nation to Be Punished for Illegal Logging

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1201, 11.7.2007

  • Mr. Kem Sokha [President of Human Rights Party] Hopes to Get Many Parliamentary Seats in 2008 General Election
  • Hor Sopheap and Khieu Dara Leave Funcinpec and Join Sam Rainsy Party [again]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4333, 11.7.2007

  • Cambodia Still Has Highest Increase of Population in the World [which affects development – says Hun Sen – the increase during the 1980s and 1990s was 2.5% per year (and the population was more than 11.4 million; the increase in 2007 is estimated at 1.8% and the population is 14.3 million)]
  • Funcinpec Agrees to Allow Samdech Krom Preah to Returns to Be the President
  • US Company [International Data Group] Invests $100 Million in Information Technology in Cambodia

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #449, 11.7.2007

  • Samdech Euv [Father King] Asks Hun Sen to Help Find Monk Tim Sakhan [who has been recently defrocked on accusation of perpetrating an offense against the Buddhist law, because he broke the unity between Vietnam and Cambodia]

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