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VOA Interviewing of MP Son Chhay and Expected New CNRP Policy Undertaking
First of all, I would like to congratulate MP Son Chhay who are selected to monitor this task. MP Son Chhay is known for his work seniority, parliamentary knowledge, integrity, and political moderation.
According to this interview, the task of transformation CNRP from long-serving opposition party towards new vibrant alternative government-led party is pragmatic and effort-needed collective work. There are pragmatism, challenges, and solutions lying ahead of this effort.
My previous recommendations on increasing anticipation on “culture of dialogue“, Sun Ray Policy, and building realistic platform for minority leader in the assembly, all are foreseeably achievable and effective after the political settlement incurred by confrontational political detente. The agreement to conduct in-dept reform of the National Election Committee, although it is not in a perfect shape, but at least new voters registration and the sharing power of 4 candidates from opposition party could solve this short-term fallacy of the NEC. The preparedness to play in field of those CNRP’s 55 law-makers were not in consistency. A new marriaged couple needs time to adapt. The brides and grooms were coming from different backgrounds as some are smoothly accustoming to the actual ground but some are brand-new to this new space. The later are likely perceived as hardliner activists which are visibly contradictory to dialogue and teamwork cooperation. Thus, all these differences have not constrainted CNRP from moving ahead and devolving its advancement. Opposition gained 55 seats or 26 seats increase in 2013 national election to become highest performance opposition party to sustain such outstanding incremental numbers with popular votes of nearly 3 millions or run shorter than the winner CPP around only 300,000 votes. The major voters are from urban and middle (income) classes of Cambodian population. This visible voter-location figure is significant for CNRP’s leadership to adjust its strategy from activism to pragmatism by using KPI (Key Performance Index) to analyse its law-makers and higher status members inside the party to insure highest expectation of work performance, to adjust public speech and political delivering focusing on more meaning on policy than personality or policy-oriented approach equipped by data-based analysis, and to undertake a policy of inclusiveness by including voters of Cambodians overseas and those current competent or technical individuals within the government when CNRP ascended to government-power leadership. The adopting of diversifying internal competent key leaders to prepare for different work accountability through shadowship cabinet arrangement is pragmatic. The building-up realistic and actual platform for minority leader of the assembly is a must to complying with the amended law of the Cambodia Constitution. Minority leader must not just be inscribed by the law, but he/she must be entitled to privileges and financial aids by the government.
Recalling the shadow cabinet arrangement in accordance to democracy practices, MP Chheam Chany once was accused by PM Hun Sen because of his new title created among opposition party members to advance the critics on armed forces section of Cambodia. It was Hun Sen alone among leaders in this world who adopted democracy without allowing opposition to conduct its effective critics tasking and effective-embodied force to ensure maximum benefits for the nation. After 2013 election, the situation changed, as law adopted CNRP to be official opposition party and King nominated its president as minority leader for the parliament so it will depend on the opposition to utilize this provision at the fullest. Amid current crisis on judicial system perpetrated on broad-day light by the ACU, it has advocated more sympathies from the Cambodian people to look at the opposition party CNRP on its adherence to professionalism and high standard performance. It poses tremendous challenges for the party to roll on especially to build up effective think tank of criticism.
Amid current excessive forces of attack, the preemptive bid opposition should carry out is “avihimsa or patience and non-cooperative” by strengthening its internal forces and co-opt new criticism approaches. Buddha said patience is supreme virtue of the wise; patience brings clear wisdom and road-map. Whenever, the contender tried to bring us to their arranged game, we should not cooperate with such dirty arranged game. And the most important one is to increase criticism through new tools of delivery. The function of opposition party is to critics the government-led party. Whenever, the works of criticism are disappeared, the opposition title shall be disappeared as well. But new criticism approaches must be adopted and enhanced. Scholars addressed effective criticism as positive, specific, objective, and constructive. Grouping expertise among those 55 law-makers through shadow government platform to solely work on their own specialization shall bring specific and objective inputs leading to positive and constructive changes. Those expertise must have platform such as blog, media or publication to publicize their works as well as for a monitor to easily follow up. Few minutes speech during parliamentary plenary session must come along with produced paper work that public media and voters are able to anticipate it without going through middle men or third persons. Public rhetorics should be objective, not subjective or specifying the issues (as really shortage), the affiliated body to such issue (accountable body), and recommendation (achievable solution framework). No excitement, anger voice, personal attacking, explicit vile (sometime level of tone), and be directive towards actual accountable body etc. are few tools to perform an effective criticism. For instance, ACU should be criticized for its abusing of power and mandate because this body should punish those corrupt high ranking officers who have been endorsed by the King under the provision of the Constitution, not a civilian, ordinary citizen, or members of civil society. ACU’s actions towards civil society members has surely complicated higher court of Cambodia and Ministry of Justice who have been abode by some levels of due process and public servant ethics.
Remember that sometime to criticize the government is too subjective but to criticize those small sections of the government who are abusing power is very objective.
Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 61
This part (61), Mr. Sophan Seng analysed on the “Cambodian voters from overseas” that are differentiated by their resettlement mandate.
For those who are living in foreign countries permanently such as Cambodia diaspora members in the United States, Canada, France, Australia, and many other parts of the world, they should be facilitated to vote in Cambodia elections. There are approximately 500,000 or half million Cambodians overseas among those diaspora who have hugely contributed for nation-building of Cambodia.
Cambodian citizens who are temporarily living oversea are migrant workers, students, soldiers stationing in South Africa, and government officials. There are approximately 100,000,0 or 1 million Cambodians temporary living abroad. Those people are entitled to vote in all Cambodia elections.
Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 60
ក្នុងនាមជាអ្នករស់នៅក្រៅប្រទេសម្នាក់ មានការសោកស្តាយចំពោះមតិរបស់លោកហ៑ុន ម៉ាណែតទាក់ទងនឹងសិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោតរបស់ខ្មែរដែលកំពុងរស់នៅក្រៅប្រទេស។
ឳពុករបស់លោកនិងរូបលោកផ្ទាល់ហាក់បីដូចជាគ្មានឆន្ទៈនយោបាយក្នុងការសំរួលអោយខ្មែរដែលកំពុងរស់នៅបរទេសជិត២លាននាក់បានចូលរួមបោះឆ្នោតបាន។ ឳពុកលោកនិងរូបលោកមានហេតុផលប្រហាក់ប្រហែលគ្នា ដែលហេតុផលទាំងនោះជាបញ្ហាបច្ចេកទេសសុទ្ធសាធ។ បើនិយាយពីបញ្ហាបច្ចេកទេសវិញ យើងអាចសំរួលតាមរបៀបមីយ៉ាន់ម៉ា ថៃ ឬហ្វីលីពីន ឬយើងអាចពិភាក្សាបង្កើតរបៀបរបស់យើងទាំងស្រុង។
ការមិនសំរួលអោយខ្មែររស់ក្រៅប្រទេសអាចបោះឆ្នោតបានដោយងាយស្រួល គឺជាការរំលោភរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញខ្មែរ ក៏ដូចជាកតិកាសញ្ញាអន្តរជាតិដែលកម្ពុជាជាភាគីហត្ថលេខី។
On behalf of a Cambodian oversea, I am disappointed by Hun Manet who was interviewed by VOA Khmer recently about the rights to vote of Cambodians overseas.
His father and Hun Manet seems have no political will to facilitate easy access for Cambodians overseas to exercise their rights to vote. He and his father have the same reason to not allow Cambodians overseas to vote as those reasons are typical technical issues. If we are going to discuss technical issues, we could learn from Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines, or we can establish our own mechanism.
Intention to obstruct Cambodians overseas to vote in Cambodia elections is a violation over Cambodia Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations in which Cambodia is a covenant.
Op-Ed: Phnom Penh Post
On the 16th anniversary of its adoption, observers reopen a debate on the founding document’s legacy
- Article 7: The King shall reign, but shall not govern.
- Article 31: The Kingdom of Cambodia shall recognise and respect human rights as stipulated in the United Nations charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the covenants and conventions related to human rights, women’s and children’s rights.
- Article 41: Khmer citizens shall have freedom of expression, press, publication and assembly. No one shall exercise this right to infringe upon the rights of others, to affect the good traditions of the society, to violate public law and order and national security.
- Article 44: The right to confiscate possessions from any person shall be exercised only in the public interest.
- Article 51: The legislative, executive and judicial powers shall be separated.
- Article 80: No [National] Assembly member shall be prosecuted, detained or arrested because of opinions expressed during the exercise of his or her duties.
- Article 132: Revision or amendments shall be enacted by a constitutional law passed by the Assembly with a two-thirds majority vote.
AS the Kingdom marks the 16th birthday of its Constitution, adopted with much fanfare on this day in 1993, observers remain divided on the elusive document, opening a debate on whether it stands as a symbol of Cambodia’s emergence from years of war and conflict or a sign of squandered opportunities.
Cambodia’s founding fathers – a motley mix of lapsed Marxists, royalists, nationalist resistance fighters and foreign consultants – spent more than a year drafting a new Constitution together from the Kingdom’s 1947 Constitution and human rights stipulations contained in the October 1991 Paris Peace Agreements.
The Constitution that came into force on September 24, 1993, was a watershed in Cambodian history, containing a separation of powers (Article 51), adherence to international human rights treaties (Article 31) and a series of provisions respecting basic civil rights (Articles 32 to 50).
Coming at the tail end of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) and just four months after Cambodia’s first multi-party elections in decades, the Constitution arrived at an important crossroads in the country’s history. But some say the story of the document since 1993 has largely been one of form over substance.
“We have a sophisticated set of documents, but documents are only papers. The facade is there, but there is no democratic substance,” opposition leader Sam Rainsy told the Post.
Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth 59
This part (59), Mr. Sophan Seng analysed on the recent public statement and press conference by Comfrel or The committee for free and fair elections in Cambodia. According to the press conference, Mr. Michael who is one of the advisory board members stressed that the ongoing practices of authoritarian countries which have used election as a pretext to renew their power, and Mr. Pannha who is director placed doubts on state’s inference with current national election committee (NEC).
Mr. Sophan highly agreed with Michael that through academic researches and real world politiks, many authoritarian countries are conducting elections to legitimize their power. Often, those countries including Cambodia under PM Hun Sen leadership, they have always attempted to threat and intimidate the voters through using public speech on both explicit and implicit threatening. More than that, they have always used judiciary system to favor their political agenda.
For what Mr. Pannha said, Mr. Sophan observed that NEC that was created by 4 members from each political parties are not in equilibrium of power because 4 members from government-led party CPP could enjoy the free ride of both conducting daily business without intimidation and fear of political reprisal at all. For 4 members from opposition party, CNRP, they are mindful in all movements and they are easily been feared, distracted, and faced political reprisal in all time. The bad working environment for 4 members from opposition party is also significantly caused by the ongoing biased court of Cambodia.
At the end, the lacking of political will of Hun Sen leadership to include Cambodians overseas to vote, is another attempt showing that election is just a mean for his long term grip in power in Cambodia.