Archive for May 15th, 2008

Thursday, 15.5.2008: Civil Society: Small Number of Parties Participating the Elections Makes Non-Ruling Parties Stronger

Posted on 15 May 2008. Filed under: Week 560 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 560

“The National Election Committee [NEC] had started the registration for political parties that intend to compete in fourth term parliamentary election since 28 April 2008 until 12 May 2008. Since the start of the registration of political parties on 28 April 2008, until 12 May 2008, the NEC had listed only twelve parties, among which only three parties have been officially recognized by the NEC.

“On the afternoon of 12 May, the NEC held a press conference on the results of the registration of political parties. Mr. Tep Nitha said that the NEC has listed twelve parties as follows:

1. Cambodian People’s Party
2. Khmer People Niyum Party
3. Hang Dara Democratic Movement Party
4. Norodom Ranariddh Party
5. Funcinpec
6. Human Rights Party
7. Sangkum [Khmer] Niyum Party
8. League for Democracy Party
9. Sam Rainsy Party
10. Khmer Anti-Poverty Party
11. Khmer Democratic Party
12. Khmer Republican Party.

“The NEC secretary-general Mr. Tep Nitha said that among the twelve parties which had registered, only three parties have been officially recognized by the NEC – the Cambodian People’s Party, the Hang Dara Democratic Movement Party, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party. As for the other eight parties, their documents have been being checked, but the registration of the Sangkum Khmer Niyum was rejected, because it did not have sufficient documents.

“Mr. Tep Nitha said that the number of parties participating in the competition of the fourth term parliamentary election is smaller compared to the 1993 election, when there were 39 parties, and in the 2003 election when there were 23 parties.

“With only twelve parties listed by the NEC, civil society representatives expressed various views.

“The Committee for Free and Fair Elections [COMFREL] executive director Mr. Koul Panha said that having only twelve parties registered and to be officially recognized by the NEC is not a good sign, as there are not as many parties as before, probably because of the formula for the calculation of candidates’ numbers of positions, as some parties lack the resources and the money to participate in the election.

“Mr. Koul Panha continued that because of such problems, some parties do not participate. Other problems are that some parties do not have their presidents present in the country, and the main reason is that some parties do not have the hope to win any seat, because of the seat calculation formula, according to which the parties do not believe they can guarantee seats like in the 1993 election, which had a formula to encourage smaller parties; if they had some results, they could get the rest of the seats, but now the formula is different – the winners will get many seats.

“The director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights [LICADHO] Ms. Pong Chiv Kek [known also as Dr. Kek Galabru] finds that it is a negative sign, though previously when there were many parties registered at the NEC, it was difficult for the citizens to decide for which party they should vote; first of all, citizens lacked information about those political parties, so when there were too many parties, it was difficult for them to decide, and the second reason is that to have a strong opposition, votes must be concentrated, since when there are many parties for citizens to vote, votes are split, and a formula is used to allocate seats which does not help small parties, but it helps only the bigger parties. So, this formula is different from that in the 1993 election, created by the United Nations, which helped small parties. By 1998, the formula was changed in order to allocate seats which did not help the smaller parties.

“Ms. Pong Chiv Kek added that if there are many parties, votes are split, making opposition parties which do not hold power weaker and also weakening democracy, as we also need strong non-ruling parties to challenge the government. If the government does well, they support it, but if the government has problems and goes a wrong way, non-ruling parties will pull the government back and take care so that it works for equality.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #19, 14-16.5.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 15 May 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #100, 15.5.2008

  • Battambang Electricité du Cambodge Chief Lim Bunthon Extorts between US$150-US$200 from Citizens of Each House [so electricity is available to their houses]
  • Gunfight between Robbers and Police at Midnight: Four Police Wounded, One Robber Killed, Frightening the People [on 14 May – Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1641, 15.5.2008

  • Forrest Crimes in Kulen Prum Tep Animal Refuge Still Seriously Exist [Preah Vihear]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #19, 14-16.5.2008

  • Civil Society: Small Number of Parties Participating in the Election Makes Non-Ruling Parties Stronger
  • Food Inflation in Cambodia Seriously Affects the Living Condition of Poor Students [by forcing them to drop out of school in order to help seek income for their families]
  • Teachers Criticize Quality of Education [Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president Mr. Rong Chhun said that comparing the quality of education in Cambodia to other countries based on previous research, the quality of education in Cambodia is declining very shamefully, because of incompetent leaders, promotion of education is not effective, citizens’ children do not get sufficient education]
  • In First Three Months [of 2008], Number of Tourists Visiting Cambodia Is More than 600,000

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6345, 15.5.2008

  • Retirement Frame of Teachers Is at the Age of 60 and at the Age of 55 for Public Officials
  • Khmer Literature and Language Survive on the Province of Surin [Thailand] after Being Forbidden for 50 Years

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3460, 15.5.2008

  • Official Arrested Chief Drug Trafficker Chen Yon, Owner of Sok San Hotel, Stung Treng [on 13 May]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4589, 15.5.2008

  • Government Signed Development Cooperation Agreement with Sweden [that Sweden plans to provide credit of Swedish Kroner 400 million [approximately US$70 million] to continue projects on three important priority fields – primary education, good governance, and the strengthening of democracy and human rights]
  • UN Pushes All Nations Worldwide to Plant 7,000 Million Trees by Next Year

Samaki Cheat, Vol.10, #112, 15.5.2008

  • England Provides Aid of US$15 Million to Cambodia [for three years – 2008-2010 to participate in poverty reduction and economic growth for Cambodian people]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3309, 15.5.2008

  • [Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president] Mr. Rong Chhun Confirms His Stance of Staying on Democratic Side and He Will Not Join the Ruling Party or Sam Rainsy Party

Have a look at last week’s editorial: How to enhance the trust in the rule of law

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Wednesday, 14.5.2008: Cambodian Official Rejects Request for Khmer Prostitutes to Work in Australia

Posted on 15 May 2008. Filed under: Week 560 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 560

“A Cambodian official voiced concern earlier this month after an Australian association of prostitutes called for ”immigrant working visas ” for foreign prostitutes who intend to sell sex in Australia.

“Cambodia will not allow its prostitutes to travel to Australia with immigrant visas to continue their careers as prostitutes. This is according to the Minister of Information and the Royal Government’s spokesperson Mr. Khieu Kanharith’s information by phone, saying that ‘we have just stopped the permission for marriages between Khmers and foreigners because of exploitation. Now it is difficult to marry Khmer nationals, let alone talking about prostitution, it becomes more difficult.’

“It should be noted that the Royal Government of Cambodia stopped early March to issue permission for marriages between Khmers and foreigners until further notice, because some Khmer women who lack knowledge and live in poor conditions are often cheated under the pretext of a marriage to a foreign country, but finally they become prostitutes.

“There is an alliance of sex workers in Australia which raised the current needs of foreign prostitute immigrants on 29 April 2008, as Australia is expecting many foreign prostitutes as they are also expecting many doctors.

“Elena Jeffreys, the president of the Australian sex workers’ association, told the Australian media Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ‘We are considering an human rights approach to labor migration generally, and then any labor migration policy can include a non-discriminatory approach to sex workers as well.’

“She added that the Australian Immigration Department could save millions of dollars each year used for apprehending illegal immigrants and raids on brothels [searching for illegal immigrants], if those who are sex workers could ask for working visas.

“However, the Cambodian official called for caution about such kind of plan.

“Cambodian officials and human rights activists indicated that most Cambodian prostitutes earn only US$1.25 from serving one client, and it would be difficult for them to meet the requirements to apply for working visas to work in Australia.

“Ms. Kek Galabru [the director of LICADHO], a leading human rights activist, said by phone that she does not support such a request, but it depends on the sex workers themselves to ask or not to ask for such visas; and she will give them advice related to these issues.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #68, 14-15.5.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #99, 14.5.2008

  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Company Dac Lac [which gets nearly 10,000 hectares of land concession from the Cambodian government for rubber plantation] Destroys Khmer Trees in [Ou Ya Dav] Ratanakiri
  • Printing of 20,000-Riel Notes Causes Inflation – Prices of Goods Increasingly Soar

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #68, 14.5.2008

  • Cambodian Official Rejects Request for Khmer Prostitutes to Work in Australia
  • Thailand Asks UNESCO to Postpone the Listing of Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site; Cambodia Does Not Care about This

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1640, 14.5.2008

  • US Senior Official [Christopher Hill] Cancels His Visit to Cambodia [because he is busy]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Used Two Short Guns to Rob. He Was Arrested [10 May – Tuek Thla, Phnom Penh]
  • The Ministry of Health Makes Efforts to Prevent Dengue Fever During This Rainy Season
  • Serious Earthquake in Central China Killed More Than 12,000 People [12 May 2008]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #153, 14.5.2008

  • Stung Treng Anti-Terrorist Police Extort Money from Yuon [Vietnamese] Nationals Who Enter Cambodia Illegally

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3459, 14.5.2008

  • Khmer Laborers, Workers, Businesspeople at Poipet Border Crossing Plan to Hold Demonstration against Corrupt Customs Officers and Immigration Police
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: If Sam Rainsy Party Wins the Elections, Contracts between the Government and Dishonest Companies Will Be Canceled
  • International [election] Observers Should Not Become Foreign Tourists

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4588, 14.5.2008

  • Three Norodom Line Members [Princess Norodom Vacheara, Prince Norodom Sirivudh, and Prince Norodom Chakrapong] Disappear from the 2008 Parliamentary Election Name Lists

Samleng Sadeav, Vol.1, #9, 14-15.5.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Will Not Appear to Explain to Phnom Penh Court on 22 May 2008 [over Hor Namhong’s lawsuit]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3308, 14.5.2008

  • Kratie Forestry Officials Extort US$200 from Each Boat Transporting Wood

Have a look at last week’s editorial: How to enhance the trust in the rule of law

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