News / Asia

    Myanmar Elections Seen as Model for Cambodia

    FILE - Young men are seen taking photos of a ballot box at a polling station in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 28, 2013.
    FILE - Young men are seen taking photos of a ballot box at a polling station in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 28, 2013.
    Hul Reaksmey

    As Cambodia ramps up for local elections in 2017 and national elections the year after, experts say it should look to November's election in Myanmar — also known as Burma — to improve security and build confidence in voters.

    During the elections in Myanmar, which came after decades of military rule, polling station observers and peacekeepers were deployed to ensure free and fair voting procedures. Among them were Cambodians who will be monitoring their own country's upcoming polls.

    "During election day, we learned that it's the people who take care of security affairs," said Koul Panha, head of the election monitoring group Comfrel, which observed the vote in Myanmar. "They taught people how to maintain security at the polling stations."

    Sam Kuntheamy, head of the election monitoring group Nicfec, said good security management meant fewer violations.

    "We should follow this good point of theirs," he said. "They did it differently and better than us. We used a lot of armed forces, which shows that there is a lot of insecurity. Firstly, it didn't feel like a free election. It seemed like the freedom in the elections was still in a fragile state."

    Security in the Myanmar election was conducted with input from political parties, something that is unlikely to happen in Cambodia, he said.

    "The related parties, such as the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense, are afraid that the government cannot accept such measures," he said. "So they follow the old model."

    Officials at the Ministry of Interior could not be reached for comment.

    Roles for women

    Hang Puthea, the former head of Nicfec who now serves as a member of the National Election Committee (NEC), said the NEC will raise security issues with the Ministry of Interior as it prepares voter registration.

    Koul Panha urged the NEC to work harder to be more transparent and to find more roles for women in the election process and vote counting.

    "The vote count is important after elections," he said. "Women play a good role in the management of the vote-counting process. Engaging more women in that role will enhance the confidence in the official vote when it comes to vote counting during the election days."

    Cambodian officials are working to improve elections that follow polls in 2013, where allegations of widespread irregularities moved the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party to boycott participation in government for nearly a year.

    This article was produced іn collaboration with VOA's Khmer Service.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Concern Citizen
    February 02, 2016 11:59 AM
    Good luck of doing that in Cambodia. The CCP and Hun Sen control everything. Only the outsider monitors can guarantee the fair election.

    by: charles from: Kuwait
    February 02, 2016 5:12 AM
    Maynmar election cannot be a model for anybody since it is not a full democratic election. The military reserved some seats for themselves and this should be abhorred and never emulated by any country emerging from a dictatorship.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora