Parties Make Promises at KTV Election Chat

Three weeks before the campaign season starts, representatives of eight political parties un­veiled their platforms at a roundtable discussion at KTV studios.

Promising road projects, elimination of corruption and administrative reform, the representatives Mon­day outlined the goals of their parties as the Feb 3 commune elections draw near.

Nuon Bunna, chair of the Cam­bodian Women’s Party, said if elec­ted her party would undertake a rigorous agenda of reform, fight for the end of logging, reexamine tax policy, fight for factory workers’ rights and battle the trafficking of women and children. Her party has candidates in just one commune in Kompong Speu.

“There has been a lot of re­mar­kable developments and chan­ges” since 1979, Ek Sam Ol, a CPP member of the National Assembly, said of his party. “The party is willing to push for more change in the government, in­cluding administrative reforms.”

Funcinpec senator Nhiek Bun Chhay said his party would try to answer all requests from people in the communes as it goes about reforms and work on border is­sues, eliminating corruption, and strengthening the notoriously weak rule of law in Cambodia.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said candidates from his party, if elected, would provide security to people in their communes.

Sam Rainsy candidates have been the victims of several slayings that members of the party characterize as political, despite official investigations that say mo­tives such as personal disputes and sorcery were to blame.

“We will give security to the people and stop all kinds of political violence,” Sam Rainsy said. “We will give the land title to the people free of charge…and we will advise our leaders, the communal leaders, to stop illegal businessmen who grab the land of the poor people.”

The discussion, taped so that it can be broadcast during the campaign season beginning Jan 18, is the first of up to 10 roundtable talks sponsored by the National Elections Commission and the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections.

Forum moderator Kek Gal­a­bru said she avoided difficult questions for the politicians be­cause the discussion is only meant to allow voters to hear from each of the political parties without media interference.

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