The opposition CNRP on Friday called for the Council of Ministers to be removed from a process that determines the number of National Assembly seats—but came up against resistance from the ruling CPP.
After a bilateral meeting Friday to discuss amending the existing election law, CNRP lawmaker Kuoy Bunroeun, head of the opposition’s electoral working group, told reporters that the opposition wanted to see the Permanent Committee at the National Assembly—made up of the heads of the National Assembly commissions—to form a committee to determine the number and geographic allocation of assembly seats.
Currently, the Council of Ministers is responsible for forming the committee that determines the seats, with the current committee including representatives from each political party, the Interior Ministry, and the director of the National Institute of Statistics.
“We want the permanent committee to form the committee to determine the increase in National Assembly’s seats because it is in charge of reviewing the components of the National Election Committee, and the National Election Committee itself is responsible before the National Assembly to organize the election,” Mr. Bunroeun said.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, who is the head of the CPP’s electoral working group, said the existing election law is so well written that there is no need to change it.
“Since we had agreed previously that we would use the existing law for the basic foundation, we brought back all of it and don’t want to add or cut anything at all,” he said, adding that any amendments would also slow down the process of agreeing on the new law.
Mr. Chhin also said the two sides agreed that the electoral system should be one based on proportional representation with provincial and municipal constituencies, and the polling date should be determined and announced by the prime minister.
The two electoral working groups will meet again on Monday.