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Posted by: | Posted on: February 23, 2017

The amendment of law on political parties is unconstitutional

Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 99

This part (99), Mr. Sophan analysed two outstanding issues happening in Cambodia i.e. the resignation of Sam Rainsy from CNRP and the amendment of political parties law by the order of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Law on Political Parties RejectionSam Rainsy’s resignation happened amid attempt to dissolve Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) through law amending of political party crafted in 1998. The amending was carried out by the law-makers from CPP solely after Hun Sen stated in his speech during a session of parliamentary meeting. That session was succeeded in dissolving majority and minority mechanism in the parliament strengthened parliamentary institution. In his speech as the law was amended clearly showed that a political party could be easily dissolved if 1. President is found guilty in a convicted crime, 2. Vice President is found guilty in a convicted crime, 3. Permanent member is found in a convicted crime, 4. Committee member is found in a convicted crime, 5. Party is found in secession activity, incitement, or threat to national security, and 6. Party is found receiving fund or financial support from foreigner etc. The definition of the new amended law is very vague and could be easily interpreted by the powerful to fit their desire. More than this, high court is not only responsible to judge the case, the Ministry of Interior has leverage to bring case to the court as well as to conduct its task directly. Sam Rainsy resigned earliest to save his party from dissolving. Sam Rainsy has been convicted in the defamation lawsuit and the court convicted him to criminal jailing and huge compensation to the plaintiff.

For the amended law on political parties, it has been vastly condemned by national and international community. This law is a preemptive tactic Hun Sen is undergoing to ensure the vast loss of popularity of his leadership. It has amended in just few months before the commune election in June 4, 2017 and the national election in 2018.

“This day will be remembered for the triumph of dictatorship over the dream of the Paris Peace Accords for a rights respecting, multi-party democracy,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “It’s no exaggeration that these amendments are like a gun aimed straight at the heart of the opposition party, leaving only the question of when and on what grounds this political execution will take place,”

Read this link for this new amended law drafting in Khmer and in English

Posted by: | Posted on: February 18, 2017

Letter to the Editor of Cambodia Daily about Sam Rainsy’s Resignation

Rainsy’s Resignation Begins New Chapter

As the article “Rainsy Quits Amid Threat, But CNRP Still in Danger” (February 13) notes, Sam Rainsy resigned as president of the CNRP to save his party from dissolution at the hands of Prime Minister Hun Sen-with commune election coming in June and the national election next year.

Academics see Mr. Hun Sen’s non-stop obsession to divide and weaken the CNRP as a pre-emptive tactic before the elections, ensuring his preferred outcome. His activities have surpassed all efforts to reform and destroyed what good might have come of it.

Mr. Rainsy has laid out an inclusive policy to include Cambodians overseas, especially millions of migrant workers, to be able to vote, as opposed to Mr. Hun Sen who has advocated to exclude them.

Apart from his personal integrity and genuine patriotism, Mr. Rainsy is clear and intelligent in handling political truces with Mr. Hun Sen. With more than 23 years experience in leading opposition party, his effort paid off in 2013. Seas of people gathered in tsunamic-like crowd to welcome him back home at the airport a few days prior to the national election, which the CNRP nearly won.

From now on, Mr. Rainsy will be an icon of change and idealistic pragmatism in Cambodia. His political career is not over. As long as Cambodian people, especially younger voters, remain supportive of his decadeslong struggle, his vision for Cambodia will cease to be a dream.

Sophan Seng is executive director of the Committee for Election Rights of Overseas Cambodians.  

Letter to the Editor on Cambodia Daily

Posted by: | Posted on: February 17, 2017

Letter to Editor of Phnom Penh Post on Sam Rainsy’s Resignation

A new chapter in Cambodia politics

Dear Editor,

Letter to editor PPPThe most popular news during these few days is the resignation of Sam Rainsy from Cambodia National Rescue Party’s presidency and membership. There are many views on pros and cons of his journey. Cambodian people in general are missing him so much for his decision-making but their love and attachment towards his heroic determination has been surprisingly increasing. Hence, some analysts viewed his resignation as a disadvantage for both himself and the CNRP as whole.

Actually, Sam Rainsy’s resignation is to save his party from dissolving, a fate Prime Minister Hun Sen seeks to bring about. Hun Sen has repeatedly made clear his intention to amend the Political Party Law to ban convicted individuals from entering top leadership of the party as well as to dissolve the party if a member is convicted. Strategically, Sam Rainsy sidestepped Hun Sen’s narcissistic intentions ahead of the upcoming commune elections and 2018’s national election. Sam Rainsy has been found guilty in a defamation lawsuit against him and there are many more lawsuits against him. Every Cambodian knows that those charges are politically motivated.

Academics and observers see Hun Sen’s obsession to divide and weaken the CNRP as a pre-emptive Letter to Editor PPP 2tactic to ensure a positive outcome for the CPP in elections. This activity has surpased all efforts of reform. Jailing NGO staff members including secretary of the National Election Committee Ny Charia is seen as an attempt to tame the election body, and this latest effort to outlaw the strongest opposition party is seen as a move to weaken his opponent before allowing them to enter the ring.

Besides personal integrity, honesty, sacrifice and love for his nation, Sam Rainsy has proved vivid and intelligent in handling political truces with Hun Sen. With more than 27 years of experience in political leadership in opposition to Hun Sen, Sam Rainsy was greeted by a sea of people to welcome him back home at the airport a few days before the election campaign kicked off in 2013.

Some people believe his resignation is an example of irresponsible leadership. In fact, it is parallel to that of George Washington, who stepped down after serving two terms, despite the fact that many believed he could have ruled for life. He did this for the love of his country. Likewise, Sam Rainsy has shown to be the first role model to all Cambodian people, willing to cede power for the good of the people.

In the future, Sam Rainsy will be an icon of change and idealistic pragmatism in the Kingdom. His political career is not yet over, and won’t be over so long as Cambodians, especially younger voters, are still supportive of his struggle.

Source for Reference: http://m.phnompenhpost.com/columns/letters-editor

Posted by: | Posted on: February 15, 2017

Sam Rainsy’s Resignation from Party’s President signified a new chapter of Cambodia politics

Political Analysis

The most popular news during these few days is the resignation of Sam Rainsy from Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP)’s Presidency and membership. There are many views on pros and cons of his journey. Cambodian people in general are missing him so much for this decision-making but their love and attachment towards his heroic determination has been surprisingly increasing.

Sam Rainsy resignActually, Sam Rainsy announced his resignation from party’s Presidency of CNRP this February 11, 2017 is to intentionally save his party from dissolving attempted by Prime Minister Hun Sen. Hun Sen had repeatedly warned on amending the political party law to ban convicted individuals from entering top leadership of the party as well as to dissolve the party from such convicted degree if found. Strategically, Sam Rainsy stepped ahead of Hun Sen’s authoritarianism and narcissism for the upcoming elections i.e. commune election 2017 and national election 2018. Sam Rainsy has been convicted by a defamation lawsuit against him and there are many lawsuits in row to trial him. Every Cambodian knows that those charges are politically motivated.

Academics and observers see Hun Sen’s non-stopped obsession to divide and weaken CNRP as a preemptive tactic before the election and its predictable outcome. This activity has surpassed all efforts of reform and it is truly destroying those reform goodness. Jailing NGO’s staff members including secretary of the National Election Committee (NEC), Ny Charia, is seen as an attempt to tame the election body, and this latest effort to outlaw the strongest opposition party CNRP is seen as to weaken his opponent before allowing them to enter the ring. Want it or not, Sam Rainsy has laid out inclusive policy by advocating to include Cambodians overseas especially those millions of migrant workers to be able to vote in Cambodia elections in which contradicting to Hun Sen who has advocated to exclude them.

Let the Cambodia earth witness for the Sam RainsyBeside of personal integrity, honesty, sacrifice and genuine patriotism for his nation, Sam Rainsy is vivid and intellectual in handling political truces with Hun Sen. With his over 27 years experience in political leadership as opposition party particularly competing with Hun Sen, his effort yielded in 2013 as the government effort to disqualify him from political leadership has impregnably backfired Hun Sen. Evidently, sea of people gathered in tsunamic-like crowd to welcome him back home at the airport few days before the election campaign in 2013, was a historic momentum.

Some people explain the disadvantage of his stepping back by resigning from president duty as irresponsible leadership. In fact, his regression is paralleling to that of George Washington of America as history tells that the founding father sacrificed power in order to respect crafted national constitution of limiting President power to two mandates. Saying this, Sam Rainsy has shown first role model to all Cambodian people in accepting to give up power when appropriate time has come in order to maximize the collective interests of major citizens. Many people tried to explain that Sam Rainsy’s popularity is not be comparable to that Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand which this is wrong because Sam Rainsy has never earned his popularity from populist policy or harbouring it from any powerful position.

From this moment, Sam Rainsy will be an icon of change and idealistic pragmatism in Cambodia. His political career is not yet ended. When Cambodian people especially younger voters are still supportive of his last decades struggle, his future political achievement is not a dream any more.

Note that the controversial proposal to amend the political party law aiming to dissolve CNRP is attached here. According to the Phnom Penh Post, the drafting is added beyond what Hun Sen ordered in the Assembly because if this law is ratified in this February 20 by the law-makers from CPP, it will adjudicate to ban convicted individuals from party’s leadership such as president, vice president, permanent members, and committee members, to dissolve a party which is not only by the power of higher court but by the Ministry of Interior, the so-called threat to national security is very loose as incitement and defamation have been used to link to colour revolution by the powerful,  and provision on foreign funding is loosely defined as it could be interpreted to all funding from Cambodians overseas.

Posted by: | Posted on: February 14, 2017

Hun Sen is believing in dividing Khmers to galvanize his power

Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 98

This part (98), Mr. Sophan analysed on the continual oppression of Hun Sen’s political leadership towards his main opponent CNRP. Hun Sen has failed to reform as he promised in post-election 2013 by utilizing his self-bragging expertise of political leadership to garner “divide and conquer” towards his strongest opponent.

Courtesy: Makara Thai

Courtesy: Makara Thai

At the assembly meeting participated by CPP law-makers only, Hun Sen ranted out loud to demolish majority and minority voice in the Assembly. He spent over 15 minutes of internal regulation to over 40 minutes to include in his plan to amend the political party law aiming to get rid of convicted citizen(s) from party’s leadership, to dissolve party, and to imitate Thailand’s style of military coup detat. The statement to amend law in order to weaken his opponent happened in a surprise as everlasting demanding to amend law on political party on financial management and limiting public servants from involving with political party as well as be enforced by political party, was totally disregarded by Hun Sen during those 40 minutes speech.

The political behaviour exposed by Hun Sen is comparing like human body that has infected by viruses internally and Hun Sen has missed routine checkup by using “rule of law” in democratic way to diagnose and schedule treatment to ensure this body is healthy. Hun Sen is fearful of his internal ringleaders more than external enemies. More often, Hun Sen is not valuing the importance of free and fair election which is comparing like the effective medication plan or doctor orders to heal the viruses.

In conclusion, Mr. Sophan predicted on intend that Hun Sen has been playing is to tame the national election committee (NEC) to favor his party, and to ensure his victory, by either shutting down the NEC or the NEC agreed to declare his victory without waiting time for him to boycott the loss result. Reminding 2013 as an example, the result of election was not declared by the NEC; the result of election was declared by the Minister of Information.

Posted by: | Posted on: February 10, 2017

FOR RELEASE: Congressmen Lowenthal and Chabot Call On Secretary Of State Tillerson To Ensure Free And Fair Cambodian Elections

Comment: Commune election 2017 and national election 2018 are fast approaching, the domestic political rivalry has been increasingly tough while international communities and foreign countries have been eagerly anticipating those developments. The hot debate comes along with the hotter political repression inside Cambodia as Cambodia’s People Party (CPP) under Hun Sen’s leadership has taken “divide and conquer” approach over political will to reform as he promised in post-election 2013. During that time, China also expressed concern on effective leadership of political will of reform of the CPP to gain back trust and confidence from the electorates, but up to today, CPP of Hun Sen has visibly increased the opposite trajectory. Now, the United States of America has deeply stepped in to maintain its democratic value of free and fair election. It seems the latest move Hun Sen is taking doesn’t make him good in front of the Cambodian voters, the China and the United States of America as well as other democratic countries/communities. Our puzzling questions are:
  • Could Hun Sen achieve his attempts to stifle opposition party CNRP by dissolving this party through new law amendment proposal on political party, or his unrivalled attempts to undermine the National Election Committee (NEC)?
  • Could anyone understand that the latest Machiavellian style Hun Sen has been materializing is a sign to call for a mediation for power sharing?
election cambodia monitored by US
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Congressmen Lowenthal and Chabot Call On Secretary Of State Tillerson To Ensure Free And Fair Cambodian Elections
WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 10, 2017) – Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Congressman Steve Chabot (OH-01), co-chairs of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus, today called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to ensure that free and fair elections in Cambodia remain a top priority for United States foreign policy in Cambodia.

In a letter, the Congressmen state that the U.S. State Department can play a critical role by communicating to the Cambodian government of Prime Minister Hun Sen the importance of holding elections deemed credible by the international community.

The Congressmen also highlight the passage by the House last year of their resolution, H.Res.728, which established the House’s official support for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Cambodia. The resolution noted numerous instances of opposition party members in Cambodia being harassed by the country’s long-ruling regime, as well as widespread reports of irregularities in the 2013 national elections which resulted in the Hun Sen regime narrowly maintaining its hold on power.

The letter details recent acts of political oppression by the Hun Sen government, including the politically-motivated criminal investigations and charges against the senior officials of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).  Sam Rainsy, head of the CNRP, was forced to leave Cambodia and is forbidden from returning, while CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha was kept under virtual house arrest for months within the party’s headquarters. There have also been recent reports that the Hun Sen government is pursuing a legislative proposal that would effectively dissolve the opposition party.

The letter closes by emphasizing that, “In order to foster a political environment where this is possible, the Cambodian government must immediately drop all politically-motivated charges against opposition leaders, cease harassment of the CNRP, allow Sam Rainsy to freely return to the country, and allow independent election observers at all polling places.”

Click here to read the full text of the letter.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal represents the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, Avalon, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Cypress, Westminster, Garden Grove, Buena Park, Anaheim, Midway City and Stanton in California’s 47th Congressional District. He can be followed on FacebookTwitter, or his website.

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