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ជនជាតិខ្មែរកើតនៅលើដីខ្មែរ ត្រូវចេះខំថែជាតិឲ្យបានរុងរឿង កេរ្តិ៍ឈ្មោះជាតិ យើងបានថ្កុំថ្កើង លុះត្រាតែយើងចេះថែរក្សា។ ទោះបីខ្មែររស់នៅប្រទេសណា ចូរកុំភ្លេចថាខ្លួនកើតមកជាខ្មែរ កុំឲ្យបរទេស គេមកបង្វែរ ឲ្យខ្មែរនិងខ្មែរ បែកសាមគ្គីគ្នា ថ្វីបើគេហ៊ានចំណាយ ប្រាក់កាសចាយហូរហៀរយ៉ាងណា ចូរកុំភ្លេច កេរ្តិ៍ឈ្មោះខេមរា រុងរឿងថ្លៃថ្លា តាំងពីបុរាណ ព្រលឹងជាតិនៅគង់វង្សបានយូរ ទាល់តែយើង ស៊ូរួបរួមគ្នាគ្រប់ប្រាណ កសាងជាតិដោយក្តីក្លាហាន នោះជាតិយើងបានស្គាល់ក្តីរុងរឿង។


Thursday, December 20, 2012

PM frets over vote turnout

Chalerm's referendum opposition dismissed

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has voiced her concern that the voter turnout for a referendum on charter amendment risks failing to reach the required total.
Group photo taken Thursday at the Asean-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi. From left: Philippines Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Myanmar President Thein Sein.
However, she said that a conclusion must be reached on the charter rewrite regardless of the turnout.
She brushed aside comments by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who has voiced opposition to a referendum. Mr Chalerm is entitled to express his opinions, she said.
Ms Yingluck said the cabinet has only assigned a working panel to find out how best to proceed with charter amendment. The panel will look into the benefits of holding public hearings as well as staging a referendum
She said the government's task is to encourage the public to participate in the charter amendment process to find a peaceful solution to political conflict, while the duty to amend the constitution rests with parliament.
The proposed referendum question is "Do you like the proposal to rewrite the constitution in its entirety or not?".
Former charter writer Seri Suwanpanont said the question is confusing and the term "approve" should be used instead.
Sukhum Chaloeysap, director of the Suan Dusit Poll organised by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, said the question could lead or influence voters into supporting charter amendment, especially those who are poorly educated.
Mr Chalerm has opposed the government's move to hold a referendum. He said the number of eligible voters is expected to rise to around 49 million next year, and roughly 25 million would have to take part in the referendum.
If the voter turnout fails to reach the required total, the referendum would automatically become invalid.
Even if a sufficient number of voters take part, the government would still need more than half of the votes to win in the referendum, he said.
Mr Chalerm said yesterday that voting in a referendum is different from voting in an election. In a referendum, those who do not show up do not have their voting rights disenfranchised, he said, adding that many people still think constitutional amendments have little relevance to their daily lives.
Charter amendments do not motivate people to come out and vote, he said.
However, Mr Chalerm voiced support for a plan to rewrite the charter section by section. He said he would table his proposal to amend nine areas of the constitution at the next meeting of the Pheu Thai Party.
His proposal will not push for the establishment of a charter drafting assembly and will not call for a referendum.
Under his proposal, sections on the monarchy and independent agencies would be left untouched, he said.
Mr Chalerm said he would avoid anything that would lead to further conflicts and that he has his own ideas on how to restore peace throughout the country.
Parliament president Somsak Kiatsuranont said yesterday that the working panel set up by the prime minister to weigh the options between a referendum and public hearings will likely recommend both choices.
Mr Somsak said holding a public referendum is the best option available for now, even though he admitted that it is very difficult to achieve the number of votes required to win in the referendum. " [But] there is no other choice as this is the best way out," he said.
If voters disagree with the government's charter rewrite plan, the government could resubmit a plan to amend the charter section by section, he said.
Mr Somsak said it could take six months from now for all the procedures and preparations for a public referendum to be completed before the referendum is held in June.
If the public agrees with the charter rewrite plan, the parliament will go ahead with a third reading vote on the charter amendment bill when parliament reconvenes in August next year, he said


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