Prime Minister Says No New NEC Unless Boycotts Barred

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday that he would not allow the new bipartisan National Election Committee (NEC) to form unless the opposition agrees to a new law that will redistribute the parliamentary seats of any party that boycotts its seats after an election.

He also again warned the opposition CNRP not to foment revolution, saying they would face the wrath of the armed forces if they did.

Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha led the CNRP’s 55 lawmakers on a 10-month boycott of their seats after the 2013 election, which they said was marred by fraud, and ended it only when Mr. Hun Sen pledged to reform the NEC for the next election.

The prime minister said Wednesday that he could not allow such a boycott to happen again, and that he would use the CPP’s numerical majority in the National Assembly to prevent the pledged reforms being legislated.

“The election law that will be put for approval in the future should be ready to state that the lawmakers of any party that doesn’t enter [parliament] when the king convenes, that will be considered an act of relinquishing the seats,” Mr. Hun Sen said.

“If you don’t enter [parliament], the NEC will distribute your seat to other political parties. This will end [problems] quickly. If not, they will not end. [The losers] will never agree [to the results],” he said.

“The second thing is that if you do not agree, the old things will be used. The NEC will be the old one and other laws will be the old ones because there will be no new things for replacement,” he said.

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