Former CNRP members pull out of NEC

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Rong Chhun says his resignation is related to the will of three million people. KT/Mai Vireak

Three members of the National Election Committee, each nominated by the CNRP, yesterday submitted their resignation following the dissolution of the opposition party last week.

Vice-chairman Kouy Bunroeun, Rong Chhun and Te Manirong, said they could not continue to serve the NEC because it would mean betraying their own conscience.

A fourth member from the opposition, Hing Thirith, remains in place.

Last week, the Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP following a lawsuit from the Ministry of Interior based on complaints from the two political parties, Funcinpec and the Cambodian Youth Party in the wake of its leader Kem Sokha’s jailing on treason charges.

In a joint letter to National Assembly President Heng Samrin, the three members who resigned cited the dissolution of the CNRP and the reallocation of its assembly seats to other political parties.

“The act [division of seats] will directly influence the 2018 national election.

Te Manyrong

“For the reasons mentioned above, we cannot continue to work with the NEC any more because it would be a betrayal of our own ideals, conscience and the true will of the people as voters.”

Mr Chhun said that he noted he would resign from the NEC if it could not reflect true democracy when he agreed to first join it during past government reforms.

“The resignation is related to the will of more than three million people who voted for a major opposition party,” he said.

“Now new laws are being used to distribute those seats that were elected by the people, therefore, we cannot support this course of action because it does not reflect the will of the people.”

The NEC was revamped with nine senior leaders in April 2015 under a political agreement between the CPP and the CNRP following protests after the 2013 national election.

The composition of the committee included four elected officials from the CPP, four from the CNRP and one from a civil society organisation.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability-Cambodia, said the members who resigned from the NEC were role models for society.

Kuoy Bun Roeun

Mr Chey added that the resignations might have a negative impact on the international community’s opinion of the NEC.

After the Supreme Court announced the dissolution of the CNRP on Thursday of last week and banned 118 party officials from politics for five years, the United States stopped providing aid to the NEC.

National Assembly secretary-general Leng Peng Long said there were procedures in place to replace the members who resigned.

“The National Assembly will vote for new NEC members,” he said. “This selection will not take a long time, it will take place within the next five days.”

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