The first meeting of a joint CPP-CNRP commission to create a framework for electoral reforms, which the opposition CNRP asked to be convened on Thursday, will be held next week, according to senior members of both parties.
The CPP and CNRP have met four times since July’s contested election result, but have not agreed on any concrete reforms to the electoral process. The CNRP’s boycott of the National Assembly, which was convened in September in protest at the CPP’s failure to investigate the July election, has entered its sixth month.
CNRP chief whip Son Chhay, who has led the CNRP in electoral reform talks, said Tuesday that the ruling CPP had asked that the next talks, which will focus on the technical aspects of reforming the country’s electoral system, be delayed until Monday.
“We proposed [to hold talks] on [February] 27 and CPP said they are not ready and we agreed that the talks can move to Monday,” Mr. Chhay said. “They [the CPP] said they were somehow not ready, they asked if they could wait until next week.”
Prum Sokha, a CPP secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior who has led the ruling party in preliminary discussions with the CNRP, declined to say which party had requested the delay.
“You can say like this, the working group from the two parties is working on how to prepare for the first meeting of the joint committee…but not on the 27th. Now the exact date is early next week, Monday or something,” he said.
“We haven’t yet prepared, we need technical preparations for that,” he added.
CNRP leader Sam Rainsy said earlier this week that the joint party commission will not discuss the main sticking points between the CPP and CNRP: the CPP’s refusal to consider conducting an investigation into July’s election irregularities or holding a mid-term national election.