Development Policy and International Relations
(Photo: by Cambodian National Election Committee)
What is the election campaign?
Election campaigning refers to specific activities which are publicly carried out in order to convince voters to vote for any candidate or political party. According to the law on the election of member of the National Assembly, the election campaign has the objectives to allow political parties and candidates to disseminate their political program to their voters. Those activities carried out in order to support any candidate or political party or criticize any political party’s policy or platform in which complied with the general provision of election campaign. Click to download the General Provision of [Electoral Campaign Khmer Version] and also [Election Campaign English Version]
As of July 28th, 2013 the national election will be held, the eight political parties are permitted to launch its election campaign for a month which would be started from 27 June to 26 July 2013.
June 27th, 2013 has marked a big day of election campaign of the fifth Cambodian national election. On this first day, there were only four among eight political parties who have launched its election campaign, namely Cambodian Political Party, Cambodian National Rescue Party, FUNCINPEC Party and League for Democracy Party. As the Cambodian National Election Committee has said, the first day of campaign was complied with the programme and fully in a peaceful manner. Click to download the full [Statement Issued by Cambodian National ELection Committee] on the first day of election campaign.
On the first day of campaign, two political parties are recognized as the most outstanding parties which have crowded supporters. These two political parties are Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP). Cambodian People’s Party is the ruling party in which Samdech Hun Sen is the candidate for Prime Minister position. And this party is believed as the Reformed Socialism in terms of ideology. While at the same time, Cambodian National Rescue Party is the biggest against political party in Cambodia in which H.E. Sam Rainsy is the candidate for Prime Minister position. And this party is believed as the Liberal democracy in terms of ideology.
In every five year, people would have rights to vote for selecting their representatives at the National Assembly. That is important for people to exercise their own rights to decide on their future direction as it will be led by only a group of people who come from a political party that won the election with majority voice (50+1). However, I used to hear that mostly people go to vote just because they see other people go to vote, but they have known nothing about it. That has shown the limited awareness of people and can be presumed the lack of mass media’s medium to reach the grassroots in order to enlarge the understanding of people on the election.
How could we, voters to be specific, decide on which party we should vote for?
In order to decide on which political party, people should simply ask themselves several questions as following:
1. What do you need in your society? to develop in what sectors? to preserve what in your community?
2. Which political party’s policy will meet your needs? to bring prosperity and harmony to the nation as the whole?
Basically, I would be of the view that people themselves should take opportunity of this election campaign in order to find out more on each political party’s policies on the agenda of development, public policy, social welfare, foreign policy and reformation whether those policies will meet the need of voters or not. If you think that you as the voter will be beneficial from those policies, then you can favor to that political party. The main important thing is to concentrate on policy and differentiate between those political party’s policy and find which one is the best. Therefore, we have to pay attention on each policy of all political parties. Here is the texts of policies belong to two outstanding Political Parties that you may find, Click to download them [CPP’s Policy] and also [CNRP-policy implementation] To do so, it would not be an easy task. In this sense, I would be of the view that Cambodian National Election Committee, civil society and political parties should take part of this contribution. I strongly encourage to have arrangement on debates for representatives or Prime Minister candidates from all Political parties to present their policy for people’s consideration. The debates shall be co-organized by Cambodian National Committee and civil society to ensure the transparency and accountability. In this connection, it will lead to the efficiency of election and the promotion the understanding of ordinary people regarding the policy that respective party may have. Another issue should be also raised to discuss is the mediums of voting. On the day of voting, a large mount of money will be certainly flowed out of pockets since people have to spend on the transportation cost in order to reach the station where it is far from their current living. For example, a particular person would spend at least around USD 30 to USD 50 in order to go for voting in a Province as they are now working or pursuing higher education in Phnom Penh or some where else. In this regard, the medium of vote should be reconsidered for a better change for the sake of nation as the whole.
Click to read also my article “Have Cambodian Youths Taken Part In Democratization Process?”
Phnom Penh, 28th June 2013
BE PROUD OF BEING KHMER!!!
By Khov Ea Hai
A Great Achievement Always Starts From A Simple Pace.