———- Message transféré ———-
De : Mico Espina
Date : lundi 10 septembre 2012
Objet : Press Release: Exiled Cambodian Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy and Senator Franklin Drilon Launched International Parliamentary Committee
Exiled Cambodian Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy and Senator Franklin Drilon Launched International Parliamentary Committee
10 September 2012
Honorable Sam Rainsy, MP, leader of the biggest opposition party in Cambodia arrived in Manila this week to launch the International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia (IPCDEC). The official launch was on the 10th of September in Club Filipino, and was attended by Senator Franklin Drilon, Secretary Neric Acosta, Congressman Jerry Treñas, and Cambodian MPs Saumura Tioulong and Yim Sovann.
Senator Franklin Drilon, who chairs the IPCDEC, introduced the committee as a “group of like-minded parliamentarians expressing their solidarity to promote full and inclusive democracy in Cambodia.”
“This committee is of paramount importance in light of forthcoming elections parliamentary elections in Cambodia on July 2013″, Senator Drilon added. He noted how past elections in Cambodia have been plagued with violence and electoral fraud, not unlike the plight of Filipinos not long ago.
He pointed out that, “ultimately, it must be the will of the people which sets the standard in choosing their political representations in the legislature whether here or abroad. We want to persuade the Cambodian government to promote an environment of peace and openness for opposition parties and their leaders and given free and equal chance in the political process. It is only through this method we are able to achieve an election that is credible.”
“[The IPCDEC] will not only work together to ensure elections are fair, we shall use our organization in restoring democracy in Cambodia to the best of our abilities. We thereby empower the Cambodian people to make a free and informed choice. Everyone in a democratic system deserves nothing less.” The launch of the IPCDEC is one significant way to effect such a change. The international committee will continue to work through international forums of parliamentarians in order to surface and give prominence to the situation of Cambodia. “Suffering states react to pressure and Cambodia is no exception,” said Senator Drilon.
Thanking Senator Drilon, Sam Rainsy promised that the IPCDEC will contribute to the long-awaited democratic change in Cambodia.
“Since 1993, elections in Cambodia have been manipulated, distorting the will of the people. There is growing popular discontent. Forty percent of the electoral public has been disenfranchised,” according to MP Sam. “Land grabbing is also causing political violence and unrest. Without democratic elections, there will be no channel to ease political violence.”
To institutionalize democratic elections, necessary reforms were clearly explained in the latest report of the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, according to MP Sam [full text of the report here: http://www.ohchr.org/
MP Sam emphasized, “the [National Election Committee] is totally controlled by the ruling party. Voters’ list can be manipulated in such a way that a landslide victory can be ensured long before voting day.”
“Cambodia is at a turning point. The balance of power has already begun to to shift. The change will be even greater if elections are democratic next year.”
“You seem to be the Ninoy Aquino of Cambodia,” a reporter pointed out. “The Ninoy Aquino we had was shot dead when he came back. Will you go that far, to risk your life, to go back to Cambodia just to begin this election?”
“I will return, definitely, for this elections,” Sam Rainsy confidently declared.
The IPCDEC currently has eighty members of parliament from Europe and Asia and is accepting more members from all parliaments. For more information, contact: Mico Espina (International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia Desk): Mobile Nos. +63908 890 8978 , +63917 812 4563 ; Tel. No. +632 819 6071 ; Email: [email protected]