The Center for Social Development has resolved a dispute with the National Election Committee over the wording of a political party platform to be included in their upcoming voter guide, the CSD wrote in a statement.
The NEC called on the CSD on Feb 20 to delete a phrase that said Cambodia must be “liberate[d]...from foreign control.” The phrase, from a paragraph in the Sangkum Jatiniyum Front Party platform, has now been modified to say that Cambodia must be “independent” before it deals with issues of illegal immigration, SJF leader Prince Sisowath Thomico said Thursday.
The SJF chose to compromise with the NEC by rewording the phrase and is satisfied with the current text, he said. In its statement, the CSD said it did not have the right to modify a party’s platform in the voter guide. “CSD is only a vehicle and our goal is for an informed citizenry,” the statement read.
On Monday, the NEC issued a clarification stating that it had reviewed the voter guide at the request of the CSD, and that it did not “threaten to prevent the organization from publishing the document.” On Feb 22, NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha had said that the guide would be “collected” if not edited.
But on Thursday, he said that the CSD had the right to publish the text, though it would be CSD’s responsibility. CSD Executive Director Theary Seng said that the NEC “had overstepped their bounds in their request to us.”