Four parties’ requests for improved political atmosphere reviewed

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Interior ministry officials meeting with representatives of four political parties on September 15. INTERIOR MINISTRY

The Ministry of Interior is reviewing a seven-point proposal made by four political parties – Candlelight (CP), Khmer Will (KWP), Cambodia Reform (CRP) and Grassroots Democratic (GDP) – for authorities to create a favourable atmosphere in the lead-up to elections.

Following a recent meeting with the parties’ representatives, Chhim Kan – director of the ministry’s Department of Associations and Political Parties – told The Post that both sides would find common ground to ensure the political rights and freedoms of the public and all parties.

However, he noted that some of the points were outside the ministry’s purview. “We are now examining the requests that concern the interior ministry,” he said.

KWP leader Kong Monika told The Post that the four parties submitted their proposals so that the ministry would help them address the issues they had faced. The parties urged the ministry to meet with local authorities and instruct them to build good relationships with all political parties and eliminate any discrimination.

He claimed that they had encountered problems with this issue in the past, and urged mutual understanding between local authorities and all parties, especially those with differing political views. The parties also suggested that a grievance process be established to solve problems at the grassroots level as soon as they occur.

“We raised seven points, all of which we feel concern political freedom. The ministry, through their representative Sak Setha, has accepted them for consideration. We are hopeful that revisions will take place,” he said.

Monika said there had been frank discussions, and that the meeting had gone well. He said the parties would wait to see how effective the solutions offered are, but expected that there would be more time for discussion.

He added that the ministry would soon hold a public forum with political parties and civil society organisations.

The four parties were also prepared to meet with the National Assembly for a second time, having already met with the National Election Committee (NEC).