Cambodia: Towards the general election in 2013

There are different issues emerging ahead of the 5th parliamentary election in this July. Those issues include the absence of the head of the main opposition party, some irregularities regarding the list of voters as claimed by some independent civil organizations in Cambodia, labor rights and minimum wage, corruption, land rights, land concession and deforestation, impunity, social order and security, and foreign policy especially towards its neighbors.

The are eight political parties registered for the upcoming election. Whoever wins the election, the issue of legitimacy needs to be effectively dealt with. National reconciliation and unity have to be strengthened otherwise it will hold back development progress in the country. The new government needs to seriously address the needs of and demands from the people. Public institutions need to better serve the interests of the people in a fair and just manner.

State, market, and society partnership has to be strengthened for sustainable development. Inclusive and green growth and rights based development approach should be the foundation of the government policy. Small and medium enterprises need more support from the government and international development partners in getting access to finance, market information, technology, and innovation. Rural infrastructure, especially irrigation system, need more investment.

The future fiscal policy should prioritize education and healthcare sectors. Good governance principles, particularly corruption eradication, need to be effectively addressed and integrated into all development policies and programs. Without strong public institutions, innovative private sector, and vibrant civil society, Cambodia cannot develop and realize its dream to be one of the high income countries.

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