CNRP Calls for New Committee, Assembly Seats

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.

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