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Ben Paviour


Opposition Official Seeks More Information on Silica Sand Exports

CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay has formally asked Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem to provide detailed trade records for silica sand, the only variety of sand still allowed to leave Cambodia after an export ban was enacted last year amid corruption allegations.

Government Pans US Ambassador’s Call for Less Suspicion, Threats

U.S. Ambassador William Heidt yesterday praised the commune elections but denounced pre-election threats, saying the Cambodian government was too suspicious of U.S. intentions, comments that were dismissed by one government spokesman as characteristically manipulative and duplicitous.

Government Spokesman Admits to NGO Scare

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak’s pre-election warning that some NGOs and their leaders were being watched for illegally aiding the opposition was a threat designed to frighten them, General Sopheak said on Wednesday, as civil society groups warily condemned the statements.

After 1998 Deadlock, Toothless Senate Carries On

In 2001, Phay Siphan made a big mistake: He and two other ruling CPP senators publicly questioned legislation up for review on the penal code and were promptly expelled from the ruling party.

Slow Election Count Raises Eyebrows

The National Election Committee (NEC) continued on Tuesday to say slow internet and blurry photographs were to blame for delays in publishing election results for 344 remaining communes, with its spokesman offering no timeline for when the public could expect complete results. Some parties and observers questioned why the process was taking so long.

As Count Ticks Upward, Parties Spin Competing Narratives

With official tallies from Sunday’s commune elections slowed by internet hiccups, both major political parties provided similar results but different stories on Monday on which had won a vote that drew a record 7 million Cambodians to the polls—300,000 more than had been previously reported by the National Election Committee (NEC).

Ruling Party, Opposition Both Claim Commune Election Win

A lack of official results did not stop both major political parties from claiming victory in Cambodia’s highest-stakes and highest-turnout local elections to date on Sunday, with the CPP citing its dominance in winning commune chief seats and the CNRP boasting of huge opposition gains in a ballot monitors said was largely free of the irregularities that marred past votes.

Ministry Puts NGOs Under Watch, Alleging CNRP Bias

Several civil society organizations and their employees are under watch by the Interior Ministry for allegedly aiding the CNRP, a ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

Interior Ministry: NGOs Under Watch for Supporting CNRP

Several civil society organizations and their employees, including the leaders of the human rights NGOs Licadho and Adhoc, are under watch by the Interior Ministry for allegedly aiding the CNRP and will face legal action after Sunday’s commune election if the allegations prove true, a ministry spokesman said this morning.

Opposition Party Foresees Big Ballot Gains in Phnom Penh

CNRP voters have gotten used to being told that their votes are wasted in Phnom Penh, a city often described as a “longtime opposition stronghold.”

Customs Recorded Less Than 1% of Singapore Sand Imports

Cambodia’s customs department counted less than 1 percent of the sand Singapore reported importing from Cambodia last year, according to trade statistics. The new data is the latest addition to a more than 77 million ton gap from 2007 to last year that the governments of both countries have attributed to differing international reporting standards, and activists

Court Complaint Filed Against Cambodia Daily Reporters

Two Cambodia Daily reporters stand accused of incitement and threatening voters in a complaint filed to the Ratanakkiri Provincial Court on Thursday, a court official said on Sunday, even after a prior complaint against the journalists was resolved by the commune election committee.

Members Confirm CPP-Linked ‘Cyber War Room’

Documents leaked to media this week suggest Prime Minister Hun Sen, his eldest son Hun Manet and son-in-law Sok Puthyvuth, and other prominent CPP-affiliated officials, were involved in an ongoing campaign to spread CPP rhetoric, monitor opposition supporters on social media and attack CNRP leaders.

Opposition, Ruling CPP Warn of Dire Election Consequences

Making the wrong choice in the upcoming commune election will invite poverty, suffering and fear, CNRP President Kem Sokha warned yesterday, as ruling party officials continued to describe a vote for the opposition as a vote for war and social unrest.

Vietnamese Minister Will Investigate Illegal Timber Trade Reports

A Vietnamese agriculture official has started an investigation into allegations of industrial-scale timber trafficking from Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri province, according to an official from the E.U., which has struck a deal requiring Vietnam’s wood exports to be legally sourced.

Gov’t Funds Return of ‘Shadow’ Election Monitors

A group accused of rubber-stamping autocratic elections in 2013 said on Tuesday it would return to observe the June 4 commune elections, with the airfare, accommodation and an excursion to Siem Reap province covered by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Government Funds Return of ‘Shadow’ Election Monitors

A group accused of rubber-stamping autocratic elections in 2013 said yesterday it would return to observe the June 4 commune elections, with the airfare, accommodation and an excursion to Siem Reap province covered by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

CNRP Would Slash Ministry Funds by 20%, Spokesman Says

The CNRP will cut all ministry budgets by 20 percent if it wins next year’s national election to free up funds to provide $500,000 annually to each commune, the party’s spokesman said on Monday, a proposal dismissed by the ruling party as empty election season chatter.

Change Is Coming, Kem Sokha Promises at Mass CNRP Rally

Skirting the fiery rhetoric of some of its past rallies and the strong response from authorities that it often elicited, the CNRP kicked off its commune election campaign with a message of change.

Commune Vote Pits CPP Roots Against CNRP Momentum

As the country enters its first campaign period since the CNRP nearly upset the ruling party in 2013, the opposition party believes momentum is on its side.

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Last Glimpses of a Cambodian Paradise? Documenting an area on the...

The sheer scale of the logging operations in Cambodia’s Virachey National Park makes it a wonder that there’s anything left of the forest, especially as the timber just keeps flowing into Vietnam unabated. In fact, Cambodia has one of the world’s highest deforestation rates.

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