CNRP Solicits NGO Suggestions Ahead of CPP Meet

The opposition CNRP met with civil society groups and NGOs on Friday and asked for recommendations ahead of resuming electoral reform talks with the ruling CPP on Monday.

“We wanted to ask civil society for their ideas,” CNRP President Sam Rainsy said after the meeting.

“We want the negotiation process to be open and transparent and observed by journalists and civil society groups who can also give their opinion.”

The CNRP alleges widespread electoral fraud in July’s ballot.  About 50 people from organizations including Adhoc, Transparency International, and the Committee of Fair and Free Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel) attended the meeting.

Koul Panha, Comfrel executive director, stressed the importance of identification cards in regards to electoral reform.

“We want all the people to have the right to vote as well as to guarantee that the implementation of the election is correct,” Mr. Panha said, adding that one problem that needs overcoming is the voter registration system, as many Cambodians have difficulty registering.

Additionally, the portion of the national budget allocated to campaigning should be evenly split between parties he said. Ny Chakrya of Adhoc, and Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International, also raised the voter card issue.

“There should be a way to electronically check voters’ data if they lose their voter card,” Mr. Chakrya said.

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