CPP Pledges Fair, Just Commune Elections

The ruling CPP denounced efforts it says have been made to derail the upcoming commune elections, although it did not specify what those acts have been.

The CPP’s semi-annual conference ended Wednesday with the adoption of an eight-point program of principles that emphasizes the Feb 3 elections. One point encourages local authorities, other political parties and NGOs to cooperate to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.

“All forms of violence and political intimidation, regardless of which sources they come from will be prosecuted according to the law in force. Furthermore, the Plenum vigorously denounced all acts committed by some circles which intend to hamper this electoral process,” the program states.

As many as 11 candidates or activists have been killed in recent months, according to investigations by human rights groups. Police and courts have characterized the killings as motivated by personal disputes. No one has been convicted or officially charged with politically motivated murder.

More than 400 local and national party officials attended the two-day conference, chaired by party chairman and Senate president Chea Sim; deputy chairman Hun Sen, prime minister; and honorary chairman Heng Samrin, National Assembly vice president.

The statement commended the National Election Committee “for its tireless effort to push forward the good preparation for the timely holding of the [elections]” and thanked the international community for its assistance in preparation for the elections.

In addition, the statement exhorted party members to rally together “in order to gain victory in the upcoming elections as well as to serve the supreme interests of our nation and people.”

The CPP controls almost all of the country’s 1,621 communes. Commune councils are being elected for the first time in an effort to decentralize the government.


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