National Constitution

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Posted by: | Posted on: April 20, 2016

The 1993 Cambodian Constitution: glass half-empty or glass half-full?

Thu, 24 September 2009

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.

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Posted by: | Posted on: September 18, 2013

The Two Dichotomous Manesfactos

After reading a short paragraphs to two different arguments of Cambodian politicians ie. Phay Siphan and Yim Sovann on facebook on the must follow the Constitution and the Effort of the King, and the must follow the will and conscience of the Cambodian people. I have my say as following:

Of course, the argument is likely becoming a stage for national debate. Cambodian people from all walks of life must participate with this renaissance and enlightening crusade for the nation. While one side is sticking on the rational of National Constitution and having the King on the Constitutional Mandate, the other side is focusing on the rationale of people’s will and their conscience.

This question is really relevant that “Can the spoken represent the unspoken?”. I cannot calculate how many are spoken and how many are unspoken. Recently, Prince Dhammiko declared to the peaceful mass demonstrators at the Freedom Park that there were thieving of victory from the CNRP by the CPP. He elaborated that the unnecessary dispatching/rallying of arm force, tanks and guns to every part of capital city, to the headquarter of NEC and CCC etc. during the pending election result, is a fact of threatening.

I have two scenarios to back up my argument following:

1. To pursue my neutral debate (professional neutrality as said probably), I see the existing mechanism of Constitution is facing dilemma as no international communities have given green light to the election result. And I think the UNs is the most outspoken one in this matter as their recommendations to reform the NEC prior to the Election has been intentionally neglected. So extending to this backing up, is there any factor or correlation between Cambodian Constitution and UNs as well as other international obligations to adjudicate or legitimize this bonding or undetachable obligation?

2. Civil rights and liberty have evidenced as all were opposing to the existing laws or constitution. If I can recall back to the March of Ghandi for freedom from England, or Jr.King to fight for the halting of black skin discrimination; all are opposing the existing mechanism, am I right? This doesn’t include many dictatorial countries that their existing laws and constitution are just the shield to protect absolute power. But when people woke up, those laws have been seen nonsense.

But I do think laws and constitution in Cambodia have been amended by National Assembly and it has been seen flaws while Check and Balance, and Effective Implementation, have been nationally and internationally criticized. So if we could not take those critics as our bonanza for reform in all fields, just NEC reform is nothing hideous to the Constitution at all. The NEC reform will only be luminous to this nation, unity and the strengthening of nation building through Election Confidence and Trust.

Note that I have only supported the effort, in case of Cambodia especially at the present crossroad, to switch from the use of guns to use the power of pens. At an effort of CNRP’s leadership, the testimony of peaceful mass demonstration, the constraints behavior of the policemen, the change to more open minded TV commentators, the well-informed demonstrators/population, the maturity of the politicians, tolerance and nonviolence culture, all can keep the flame alive on this wonder land.

The puzzling question here now is why NEC has been seen so protective, not only by the powerful entities and some politicians, by the use of Constitution to protect NEC is not plausible, healthy and futuristic at all for Cambodia.


Posted by: | Posted on: August 1, 2013

Numeral Systems concerning Cambodian National Assembly

Numeral Systems concerning Cambodian National Assembly:

120 MPs:
➢To create new Parliament
➢The National Assembly shall comprise at least 120 members (Article 76)

50%+1 of Total MPs:
➢To create new government alone
➢The National Assembly can dismiss a Member of the Royal Government or remove the Royal Government from office by voting a motion of censure at the absolute majority of all its Members. (Article 98 new)

2/3 of Total MPs:
➢Against the suspension of parliament immunity (Article 80)
➢The revision or the amendment of the Constitution (Article 151 new-former Article 132)
➢Make law
➢The declaration on the prorogation of the National Assembly’s legislature must be adopted by at least two-third of all its Members. (Article 78)

1/4 of Total MPs:
➢Initiative of the revision or the amendment of the Constitution belongs to the King, to the Prime Minister and to the President of the National Assembly on the proposal from one-fourth of all the National Assembly’s Members.

➢The quorum for meeting must consists of 7/10 of MPs.

3/4 of Total MPs: (Article 80)
➢The detention of, the prosecution against any National Assembly’s Member shall be suspended, if the National Assembly so decided by three-forth majority of all its Members.

1/3 of Total MPs: (Article 83)
➢Upon the request from the King or upon the proposal of the Prime Minister or of at least one-third of the National Assembly’s Members, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly shall convene an extraordinary session of the National Assembly.

1/10 of Total MPs:
➢Upon the request from at least one-tenth of its Members, the National Assembly can invite a high-ranking personality to come and clarify on issue of particular importance. (Article 89)
➢The National Assembly can convene in camera at the request of the President or of at least one-tenth of its Members, of the King or of the Prime Minister. [Article 88 new (two)]

Source: Facebook (Ou Rithy)