Law Limits Election Power

The commune elections draft law approved Friday by the Council of Ministers spells out which officials cannot serve on provincial and local election committees.

According to the law, the Nat­ional Election Commission will oversee the election, appoint commissions at the provincial and communal level and select local election registrars.

The law would bar the NEC from appointing the following: members of the Royal Cambod­ian Armed Forces; national po­lice; court officials; monks; bishops of any other religion; city, provincial or district governors; deputy governors; commune chiefs and any candidates themselves. Cambodians age 18 and older will be eligible to vote at the polls where they are registered.

The next step for the law will be a debate and vote in the Nat­ional Assembly.

An election monitoring group also will hold a series of presentations and workshops this week to ready trainers and provincial coordinators for the polls.

The five-day seminar, hosted by the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, will cover topics ranging from human rights to election codes of conduct, voter education and election reporting. Sessions will be devoted to topics including gender equality and proportional representation.

The seminar, to be held at Pre-School Teach­er Training Center in Phnom Penh, will include presentations by speakers from Licadho, the Khmer Institute for Democracy, the Center for Social Development and the World Food Program.

The importance of monitoring the upcoming communal elections has received renewed public attention since last week’s arrest in the slaying of a Fun­cinpec candidate in Kampot province, which some observers have called the first political killing relating to the elections.

Concerns some monitoring groups have over provisions in the elections draft law will be addressed at the various workshops.





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