The Cambodian ruling and opposition parties announced the details of one draft law on election and another on the formation of a National Election Committee (NEC) on March 9, before they are sent to the National Assembly for approval.

The two documents have been drafted by leading members from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) following an agreement reached by Prime Minister Hun Sen and CNRP President Sam Rainsy last July which ended the opposition’s 10-month parliamentary boycott.

They are designed to ensure free and fair elections and prevent post-election deadlock in the future.

CNRP’s senior official Eng Chhay Eang said that in the next election, to be held in 2018, the number of parliamentary seats will rise to 125 from 123, while the electoral campaign will reduce from 30 days to 21 days. Civil society groups and foreigners will not be allowed to conduct campaigns for political parties.

According to CPP’s senior official Sek Bunhok, the new draft law stipulates that parties boycotting parliament after an election will forfeit their seats.

Meanwhile, the NEC will consist of nine members, including four from the CPP, four from the CNRP and an independent representative. It will have a separate budget for its operations.

Cambodia holds a national election in every five years. The last election took place on July 28, 2013.

The parliament currently includes 123 seats, including 68 from the CPP and 55 from the CNRP.-VNA