Editorial | Articles about Cambodia | Khmer

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Constitution Exploitation,Nothing New

By Kok Sap,
August 31, 2006

The original UNTAC approved Constitution drafted and promulgated in 1993, Article 51 states" The Kingdom of Cambodia adopts policy of Liberal Democracy and pluralism. The Cambodian people are the master of their own country. All powers (power) belong to the people. The people exercise these (the) powers through the national Assembly, the Royal Government and the judiciary. The Legislative (National Assembly),
Executive (loosened term Government, actually the Administration) and
Judiciary Powers shall be separate (correctly separated but exclusively abiding in check and balance)." The clause seems distinctive and indicative of people power. But in reality it is pervasively contrary.
Out of the stated branches, the so called government possesses exclusive power to even dictate the other two. Each verse has no tooth.

Let's look at the staple of the article 51" the Kingdom of Cambodia adapts policy of Liberal Democracy and pluralism." Is this representative? Not likely. The words" adapts policy" is weak and ambiguous. It ought to be "adheres Democracy of Pluralism and Equality", instead. Next verse states" The Cambodian (no distinctive in qualification) people are the master of their own country." This is clearly rubbish. All know who the real master of their country is.

The following verse is more interestingly in term of who is really calling the shot," All powers (power) belong to the people. The people exercise these (the) powers through the national Assembly, the Royal Government and the Judiciary." Not so, if we look at the patterns, the Legislative or Judiciary makes no calling without afraid of Executive reprisal since most are actually subordinates of the government hierarchal. This is paradoxical. The oddity is whether egg or chicken comes first. In record, the head of government was originated from absolutism and authoritarianism. Thus he seems to impose members to heed his personal agendas rather than the people.
Such law is understated the power of people.

Lastly, "The Legislative, Executive and Judiciary Powers shall be separate." Like it or not this is totally a deception and demagogue.
Most MP members are holding multiple roles whether in administration (Executive) or legislative and/or party leadership. The obvious, who dares to risk losing self and fortune in disobedience the communistic permanent standing committee unshakable power. There goes the liberal democracy of customized pluralism. Double jeopardy, isn't it?

Cambodia Constitution has been very deceptive. It is unsubstantial and powerless. It commands no adherence from absolutists. The rulers habitually violate the parliamentarian privacy in hand showing vote on critically important matters especially if something had to do with opposing voice. One can't tell the difference in the government and the legislative or the judiciary. All are same persons in the name of people. So, the definition of people is the master of their country meant the selectively chosen few. The real people have no say so at all.

Finally, this is nothing new to Cambodia. It has been the inheritance from the Demi-God monarchial hypocrisy doctrine to the absolutist liberal democracy from 1975 to date. Therefore the Constitution in
Cambodia is a farce to its rulers. It does not hold esteem as much as expected. Most laws made for the rulers who preferably like to keep people in darkness all time. How can people trust own government that historically had never been respecting the laws?

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