Relying on traditional political messaging about the Khmer Rouge era won’t be enough to sway public opinion in the 2022 commune council elections, said deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng on Monday.
Since his case was suspended in March 2020 amidst the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sokha and his lawyers have been unable to advance any proceedings. Their filed motions have received no response from the court, even as it has resumed normal functioning for months — a status that has included initiating new trials against rights activists and Sokha’s fellow members of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
Ou Chanrath, the founder of the newly formed Cambodia Reform Party (CRP) and a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker, said that party officials had been repeatedly questioned by authorities while collecting fingerprints to submit to the Ministry of Interior so that the party can compete in the upcoming commune elections.
The new chairman of the National Election Committee (NEC) pledged his commitment to ensuring that Cambodia’s upcoming commune and national elections are free and fair amid doubts from civil society groups about the former CPP lawmaker’s independence.