Sub-national Level Councils Elections-Another Progress
of Democracy in Cambodia
On the forthcoming May 17, 2009, in the Kingdom of Cambodia, there will be an election to choose the subnational level councils or the councils at the level of capital city, province, Krong (city) and district or Khan by nonuniversal suffrage to be carried out by members of incumbent commune councils. This is a new progress in the effort of strengthening democracy in Cambodia and is part of the administrative reform aimed at expediting decentralization and de-concentration as our people are making all-out physical and spiritual efforts in implementing the Royal Government’s political platform for national, subnational development and in improving their living conditions.
The Royal Government of Cambodia of the fourth legislature National Assembly puts out many tasks in implementing the Rectangular Strategy – Phase II aimed at realizing prioritized objectives, first and foremost, guaranteeing of public service quality at all levels in response to the need for development and sacred demands of the people. Further increase of reform in decentralization and de-concentration via the establishment of councils at capital, provincial, city and district/Khan levels will indeed be a significant contribution to the framework of democratic style development, strengthening and expanding better public services, while building up local administrative system aimed at guaranteeing principles of good governance which reflects accountability and rule of law, transparency, participation, equity and state of being responsive. Furthermore, the establishment of sub-national councils is also contributing to achieving work efficiency and coherence within leaderships of the governing boards at capital, provincial, city and district levels which mobilized together intellectuals and experiences aimed at realizing plan of actions at respective levels.
Task of implementing decentralization and deconcentration as part of public reform is enormous as it ranges from organizing the elections of councils at the capital, provincial, city and district levels in May 2009, to preparing necessary transition after the elections which includes also necessities in implementing medium and short term decentralization and de-concentration processes … Despite there are many difficulties, the Royal Government of Cambodia has the courage and strong determination to yield successes in implementing these objectives stage after stage, while transferring power to sub-national levels so as to further strengthen and expand democracy in Cambodia and to raise top-to-bottom awareness. Success in this work will certainly guarantee success in the implementation of the Rectangular Strategy – Phase II for growth, employment, equity and efficiency in Cambodia.
For the past 30 years, after being saved from the genocide, under the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party, Cambodia has scored various major achievements which include the parliamentary elections in 1981, the elections of the people’s revolutionary committees at the communal level under the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, and from 1993, four parliamentary elections, two commune elections, one Senate elections and one village head elections have been conducted. Having gone through these elections our people understand better their rights of being master of national destiny and their owns’ and more so the brilliant leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party led by Samdech Akka Moha Thamma Pothisal Chea Sim, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and Samdech Akka Moha Punhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, who know well the people’s hardships, and would make sacrifices for them.
The forthcoming non-universal suffrage to choose the sub-national level councils to be carried out by members of incumbent commune councils will clearly reflect the true will of the people in all capitals, provinces, cities, and districts/Khans as they have been elected and delegated power by people in constituencies to make decision on their behalves. The whole people of Cambodia strongly hope that the elections will proceed smoothly in a free and just manner, while achieving successes thank to the National Election Committee’s experiences in electoral preparation and organization, and supports to be provided by state and social institutions as well as that of people and international community especially the fulfillment of voting obligation of every member of commune councils throughout the countries./.