2013 Cambodia elections

Protesting without permission: A brief analysis of freedom of assembly laws in Cambodia

In the wake of Cambodia’s contested election results, public gatherings and demonstrations have become increasingly common. The most recent discourse in this area has identified a lack of clarity regarding what constitutes a demonstration according to the law, when permission is needed from local authorities and when simple notification will suffice.  This briefing note takes a look at what the Law on Peaceful Demonstration 2009 provides, and whether it stands consistently with international norms. 1. What constitutes a demonstration? The Law on Peaceful Demonstration (“the Law”), enacted in December 2009, sets out the procedure for obtaining permission for all “peaceful gatherings or marches for demonstration in the Kingdom of Cambodia”, and the measures demonstration organisers must take...

The Legality of Potential UN Involvement in Elections

The Cambodian national elections took place on July 28, 2013. The process of independently verifying the legitimacy of the results of that election is far from over. Although the Cambodian Government has taken measures to verify the election results, including, verification of ballot papers by the National Election Committee (NEC), referral to the Constitutional Council by the opposition and election monitoring from many non-governmental organizations, the opposition suspects the NEC and the Constitutional Council of bias due to their relationship to the ruling party. According to the opposition, the method of nomination of members of the NEC is one of the most controversial elements involved. The two major political parties in Cambodia have agreed to enter into negotiations to establish a...

Cambodia: Does the boycott of CNRP seats in the Assembly amount to a forfeiture?

The CNRP has threatened to boycott the National Assembly over allegations of irregularities and inaccuracies in the reporting of the election results on 28 July, but Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned the main opposition party that they will forfeit their seats if they carry out such a threat.  But is Hun Sen’s warning constitutionally possible? What are the possibilities if a party refuses to take their seats in Parliament? What would be the impact of the boycott to the functioning of the Assembly? According to Article 76, the National Assembly must consist of at least 120 members, however there is no other provision which stipulates that the National Assembly cannot be held if their members number below 120. This was illustrated in 2008, when the opposition party also boycotted the first ...

Cambodia: 2013 Election Analysis – A Practical Perspective

The provisional results of the 2013 elections have been announced, with Minister of Information, Khieu Kanharith declaring a victory for the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). In the statement released on Sunday night, the Minister announced that the ruling party had won 68 of the National Assembly’s 123 seats, whilst the main opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) won 55 seats, although this figure varies. But what do the provisional results mean in relation to the formation of the new Government? Are they definitive? Can the CNRP challenge the result based on the alleged irregularities? When will the new Government officially be formed? Destination Justice takes a practical look at the Cambodian Elections 2013. Background Khieu Kanharith’s statement cut through the con...