CALD Resolution No. 3 S. 2002

June 16, 2002 10:31 am Published by Leave your thoughts

CALD Resolution No. 3 S. 2002

A resolution expressing concern regarding the apparent bias of the National Election Commission (NEC) of Cambodia in favor of the ruling party, condemning the violence of the Commune Council Elections of 2002 and expressing support for the Sam Rainsy Party’s proposals for the 2003 Legislative Election

Noting that Cambodia held its 2002 Commune Elections last 3 February, an important milestone as it was the first time in decades wherein the Cambodian people directly chose their local leaders;

Citing the report of the United Nations and other international organizations that observed among others:

  • serious acts of violence that commenced months even before the elections, including the murder and suspicious death of 17 people, 16 of whom were involved in the election process,
  • grave intimidation, many of which were committed by police and military authorities, aimed against candidates, supporters and the general public,
  • pressure on the oppositionists including death threats, arbitrary detention and damage to property,
  • pressure on the electorate through confiscation of voter cards, harassment of suspected opposition supporters and threats of retribution or denial of access to state resources and aid distribution;Saddened that despite these problems, the National Election Commission of Cambodia had
    • tolerated the limited media coverage of opposition parties and candidates and a noticeable focus by the state-owned and privately operated television and radio on the activities of the government and the Cambodian People’s Party despite earlier assurances of the NEC for fair and equal access to media,
    • controlled the content and distribution of voter education materials prepared by NGOs by requiring NEC approval, a clear disregard for the freedom of expression, and

• stifled the distribution of the campaign materials of the Sam Rainsy Party including by making an order to stop the playing of cassettes featuring the speeches of Sam Rainsy;

Convinced that in order to have freer and fairer elections in the future, reforms have to be institutionalized, including those recommended by the Sam Rainsy Party, as follows

  • reform within the National Election Committee to have one member from each of the three parties represented in the National Assembly and to choose a president and a vice-president from civil society with the support of the three main political parties,
  • the creation of a separate and independent election court to handle election related complaints,
  • fair and equal media access for all parties and access for NGOs engaged in voters’ education,
  • keeping of permanent voters’ list by commune authorities,
  • ballot counting to be conducted at the commune level,
  • annulment of election results in the province should there be evidence ofvote buying,
  • strict enforcement of the election law and appropriate punishment forviolators,
  • public declaration of campaign budgets and expenditure,
  • clear definition of valid and invalid ballots,
  • engagement by NGOs of voter education programs;

    Now therefore, be it resolved that the Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats express concern regarding the apparent bias of the National Election Commission (NEC) of Cambodia in favor of the ruling party, condemn the violence of the Commune Council Elections of 2002 and express support for the Sam Rainsy Party’s proposals for the 2003 Legislative Election.

    For: Democrat Party of Thailand, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, Liberal Party of the Philippines, Liberal Party of Sri Lanka, National Council of the Union of Burma, Sam Rainsy Party and Singapore Democratic Party

    M. R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra, MP

    Chairman of the Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats

    Jakarta, Indonesia June 16, 2002

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The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Korea’s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia.
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