Monday, June 17, 2024

Cambodia amends law to bar politicians who don’t vote from contesting polls

The National Assembly of Cambodia on Friday amended the Southeast Asian country’s election law to bar politicians or political officials who do not vote from running for future elections.

The revised bill also imposes a fine from 5 million riel ($1,200) to 20 million riel ($4,800) on anyone who prevents eligible citizens from casting their ballots, and the fine will be up to 30 million riel ($7,20) if the violator is from a political party, reports Xinhua news agency.

Some 111 lawmakers in attendance unanimously approved the legal changes, which were initiated by Prime Minister Hun Sen last week.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sar Kheng said the amendment was aimed at enhancing political leaders’ responsibilities and ensuring non-disruptive elections.

“Going to vote or not going to vote is still the right of the Cambodian people and it is not compulsory,” he said during the Assembly session.

“But for people wishing to stand for future elections, they must go to vote,” he said, adding that otherwise, “their right to run as candidates in any elections will be revoked”.

The legal changes came as Cambodia is scheduled to hold a general election for the 125-seat National Assembly on July 23.

According to the National Election Committee, 18 political parties will contest in the forthcoming election, with more than 9.7 million voters expected to cast their ballots.



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