CNRP Urged to End Parliamentary Boycott

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PHNOM PENH: March 13, (Khmer Times) —  An election monitoring NGO, The Committee for Free and Fair Election in Cambodia (Comfrel) has  urged the 55 lawmakers of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) to join the National Assembly in order to reform the National Election Committee (NEC).
“Lawmakers of CNRP have to join the National Assembly, or there will be no two-third majority vote to approve reforms of NEC,” Comfrel president Kol Panha said yesterday.
Yeng Virak, Executive Director of the Community Legal Education Center, also urged the CNRP to attend the sessions in the National Assembly.
Speaking at the news conference, Virak said “to amend constitution regarding the NEC reforms, the working groups of the two parties have to hold further discussion.
Ou Virak, had earlier said that based on past practice foreign governments – having long learned to live with Mr. Hun Sen – will admit “irregularities” in the vote but probably accept the result. “My view is that the donors … will see the injustice, will complain about it, but will never ever take a stand,” he said.
Rainsy’s hard line principles have been matched by an often naive conviction that the UN and Western governments would provide him concrete backing in his struggle for democracy against Hun Sen, said Sebastian Strangio, a  a journalist based in Phnom Penh who covers the Asia-Pacific and is working on a book about modern Cambodia.
This time is no different, said Strangio.
The CNRP leaders announced recently that the CNRP would not join the National Assembly until there would be agreement on the holding of a new election.
Regarding the comments by Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha, the CPP senior official said the new election was impossible because new election was never stated in the constitution.
The Joint Committee of the CPP and CNRP plans to meet again on March 17 to resume election reform talk after their meeting earlier this week failed to issue a joint statement.
The main reason why the two parties failed to issue the joint statement  because The CNRP wanted to redefine the role of the NEC and the appointment of NEC members to be approved by a two-third majority of the members of the National Assembly.

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