CPP Rejects Delay in Polling, Asks Donors to Deliver Funds

The Cambodian People’s Party ended a four-day meeting Friday with former head of state Heng Samrin announcing that the party firmly opposes delaying the national polls scheduled for July 26.

He also urged donor nations to speed up delivery of election support.

“Any postponement of the elections under whatever form would bring negative consequences to the nation,” the CPP honorary president said, reading an 11-point summary of public decisions taken by the party.

The speech came a day after a senior Asean diplomat from the Philippines said the polls may need to be delayed for “technical reasons.”

At this central committee meeting, or plenum, the CPP decided to appeal to “the countries which have pledged to provide assistance for the upcoming elections to speed up the process of their aid delivery and disbursement to the National Election Com­mis­sion,” Heng Samrin said, referring to the body set up to run the election.

The party also endorsed the decision of the 20-person standing committee to formally postpone indefinitely a general assembly originally set for January or February, thus delaying any changes at the party’s top levels.

At its next general assembly, the party is expected to add members to the 153-person central committee and the influential standing committee.

Party bylaws mandate that posts such as president, vice president and secretary-general only can be filled at a general assembly or congress, by standing committee vote from its own ranks.

The potential volatility of the debate on the party’s leadership was the primary reason the general assembly, or congress, was not held earlier this year, party insiders have said.

“Decisions on who is added to the standing committee can tilt the balance of power in the party,” said one insider, who added that the standing committee currently is balanced between those who would vote to extend the term of CPP President Chea Sim and those would like to elevate CPP Vice President and Second Prime Minister Hun Sen to the party’s top post.

Another insider named Min­ister of Planning Chea Chanto, Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh, Ambassador to France Hor Nam Hong, Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Uch Kim An, and National Police Director Hok Lundy as candidates Hun Sen supporters want to add to the standing committee.

In its 11-point communique, the party claimed that security, social order and stability have improved as a result of an eight-point order issued by Hun Sen shortly after factional fighting that broke out in July.

The government is fostering a democratic environment, the party said, and noted that there are more than 40 political parties, 460 NGOs and 41 private newspapers operating in the nation.

The party also endorsed ex­tend­ing the mandate of the UN Center for Human Rights for an additional two years.

Hun Sen has accused the UNCHR of having political mo­tives.

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