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Cambodian Parties Make Progress on Election Reform

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Cambodia

Cambodia

Negotiators for Cambodia’s main political parties say they have reached agreements on key points of election reform, moving past a potential breakdown in talks last week.

But they did not agree on an overhaul of the National Election Committee, which opposition members say is biased toward the ruling party.

Officials from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party issued a joint statement Monday saying they had agreed in principle to 14 reform measures, including voter registration, election financing and others issues.

Son Chhay, who is leading the negotiating team for the Rescue Party, said the agreement is a move in the right direction.

FILE - Cambodia's main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party vice president Kem Sokha (L) and its party lawmaker Mu Sochua (C) rally for electoral reform in Phnom Penh.

FILE - Cambodia's main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party vice president Kem Sokha (L) and its party lawmaker Mu Sochua (C) rally for electoral reform in Phnom Penh.

“We see that it is a step forward as the Rescue Party wishes to see real reform. It falls on essential and priority points,” he said.

Bin Chhin, lead negotiator for the CPP, said all reforms measures agreed on so far will be discussed in future meetings.

He says, “There will be a national workshop as well as a public forum at the grassroots level. And on the issue of priority or how to hold the national workshop and the public forum, we will discuss in our meeting next week.”

The opposition has boycotted the formation of a new government since making major advances in 2013 elections that party leaders say were marred by fraud and irregularities.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.
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