CPP Releases Policy Platform for May 18 Council Elections

The ruling CPP has released its official six-page policy platform for next month’s district, city and provincial council elections, reiterating customary pledges to promote social and political stability, economic growth and less corruption in the country.

The 11,459 commune councilors in the country, who came to power by popular vote in June 2012, will on May 18 cast their ballots for the administrative councils for the districts they fall under, as well as for their overall province or municipality.

The CPP’s document, released on its website Saturday, reminds the commune councilors of the party’s commitments.

The CPP is committed to “increas[ing] the minimum wage of civil servants, soldiers, and police to one million riel [about $250] by 2018,” and the wage of garment factory workers to $160 by the same date.

A vote for CPP councilors is also a vote for “strengthening the rule of law, the culture of peace, social morality, and opposing all actions that cause instability and chaos,” the statement says.

Other promises include stimulating economic growth of seven percent per year, fighting inflation and working to end land disputes.

Provincial, district and city councilors elected for the CPP will also work to “solve immigration issues, monitor immigration and solve crimes committed by foreigners through legal measures.”

Koul Panha, executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said that he thought the promises would have little impact on the results given the nature of the indirect ballot.

“It won’t affect the outcome…. They just want the councilors to believe they will increase their wages, the other points are not interesting and their members will vote for their own parties,” he said.

The ruling CPP won 72.3 percent of commune councilor positions in the June 2012 vote. The constituent parties of the opposition CNRP, which later united in July 2012, won a combined 25.8 percent, with the remainder picked up by minor parties including Funcinpec.

The CNRP has threatened to make use of the two-week campaign period leading up to the May 18 ballot to resume mass demonstrations against the CPP government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The National Election Com­mittee, which is controlled by the CPP, said on Sunday that legal measures would be taken against any party that holds protests, “insults” or “looks down” on other parties during the campaign.

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