Wednesday, 16.1.2008: National Assembly Adopts Amendment of Constitution to Facilitate Preparation of Provincial and District Elections

Posted on 17 January 2008. Filed under: Week 543 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 543

“Phnom Penh: On 15 January, the National Assembly discussed and adopted draft amendments for the new Articles 145 and 146 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia with 88 of 107 votes, in order to open the way for the arrangement of a law on the organization of elections of the district, provincial, and town councils.

“Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Sar Kheng, the Minister of Interior, read the purpose of the proposed draft amendments of the new Articles 145 and 146 of the Constitution. He said that, based on the strategy of decentralization and deconcentration reforms, and the National Development Strategic Plan 2006-2010, the Royal Government of Cambodia has been organizing the management for the administration of low level national structures in order to guarantee the democratic development at those levels. He continued that to achieve those goals, the Royal Government of Cambodia has been organizing a draft law for this, as stated in the new Article 146 of the Constitution.

“The draft law impacts the regulations of the new Article 145 so that it is necessary to have an appropriate amendment reflecting the progress in politics, social administration, and national economy, both at present and in the future.

“The new Article 145 is amended to say: ‘The land of the Kingdom of Cambodia is divided into the capital city, provinces, towns, districts, communes, and subdistricts.’

“The new Article 146 is amended to say ‘The Capital city, provinces, towns, districts, communes, and subdistricts must be managed according to the conditions stated in the law on the arrangement of organizations.’

“The Royal Government hopes that the amendment will facilitate the arrangement of the administrative reforms of the capital city, provinces, towns, districts, communes, and subdistricts, according to the decentralization policy, in order to promote the democratic development at national administration low levels, in order to promote the provision of services and development effectively and regularly.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the opposition party, showed support for the draft amendments of the constitution for the new Articles 145 and 145 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. However, he wanted a wider discussion about this issue.

“Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen said as Prime Minister, concerning the amendment of the Constitution on national low-level institutions, that what is proposed here to be amended refers just to the wording to be appropriate to the situation of the progress in the country. As for the content of the law to be made for the arrangement of the management of administrative systems at the national low levels, this will be discussed in detail when that law reaches the National Assembly next time.

“Samdech Dekchor said that this can be considered to be an important stage of structural reform, as it transfers higher power to the localities – what is intended with decentralization and deconcentration. Samdech continued that through that we hope democracy will increase through elections anyway, elections on the levels of the councils of provinces, towns, and districts all show the progress of democracy, decentralization, and deconcentration.

“As for the Norodom Ranariddh Party, it definitely opposed the amendment of the Constitution on the new Articles 145 and 146, in order to adopt a law on the organization of elections of the councils of districts and provinces, but not in general, providing such rights limited only to the commune and subdistrict councils to vote.

“In a statement on 15 January, the Norodom Ranariddh Party said that they find that the commune and subdistrict council members to elect the councils of districts and the councils of provinces and towns is not fair at all, and it is not appropriate as administrative policy. They would like to ask that, if the commune and subdistrict council members elect the councils of districts and the councils of provinces and towns, how will the leadership ranks of the local administration be implemented? Because normally provincial and town administrations govern district administration, and the district administration governs commune and subdistrict administration?

“The Norodom Ranariddh Party supports the elections of the councils of districts and the councils of provinces and towns, but the elections must be conducted as general elections with the participation of citizens in general. They would like to ask the Imperial Government of Japan and other development partners that provided technical assistance preparing the law on elections of the councils of districts and the councils of provinces and towns through a seminar in Sihanoukville in December 2007, that they consider the impact of the implementation of democracy in the Kingdom of Cambodia, because these elections are not to be general elections, but they provide only limited rights to the commune and subdistrict council members to elect the councils of districts and the councils of provinces and towns, which is violating democratic rules. Such elections are considered to be a democracy where one level is only benefiting from another level in the line.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4490, 16.1.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 16 January 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1546, 16.1.2008

  • Funcinpec Must Seek Support to Enter Coalition Government [Prime Minister Hun Sen reminds them]
  • Former Middle-Level Khmer Rouge Comrades in Pailin Asked for Information from Tribunal Co-Judges [from which level up will former leaders be tried?]
  • Phnom Penh Residents Concerned about Increasing Rice Prices


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #547, 16.1.2008

  • The Case of Nhek Kosal Vithyea Stealing from the Nation Reflects that the Government Is Systematically Corrupt


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #92, 16.1.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Demands General Elections, and Simple Majority System [for elections at all levels]
  • Hun Sen Tells Funcinpec Leaders to Try to Get At Least One Seat to Be [Cambodian People’s Party’s] Ally after 2008 Election


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6246, 16.1.2008

  • Newspaper Sellers in Phnom Penh Declare to Strike Not Selling Newspapers for Two Days [date not yet mentioned] Protesting against Authorities for Demolishing Newsstands Opposite Borei Keyla
  • UN World Food Program Receives Japanese Aid [US$5,000] to Help Hungry and Poor Students in Cambodia


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3365, 16.1.2008

  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Secretly Enter to Put Border Markers Insolently in Contested Area in Doung Commune, Romeas Haek District [according a Duong Commune council member – Svay Rieng]
  • In Kampuchea Krom [formerly Maot Chrouk, now An Giang, Vietnam], Yuons [Vietnamese] Rob Land of Kampuchea Krom Khmers; in the Kingdom of Cambodia, a Yuon Company Robs Land of Khmers [in Santuk District, Kompong Thom, 1,300 families have land disputes with the Vietnamese company Tan Bien [phonetic] for which the Cambodian government provided 8,000 hectares of land, including the land of 1,300 families – probably for industrial plantation]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4490, 16.1.2008

  • National Assembly Adopts Amendment of Constitution to Facilitate Preparation of Provincial and District Elections
  • Prime Minister Demands Funcinpec Work Hard if It Wants to Retain Alliance after 2008 Election


Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #601, 16.1.2008

  • Taiwan Regrets that Cambodia Does Not Allow Opening of [Taiwanese trade] Representative Office in Phnom Penh

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