CNRP Files Complaints Against Preliminary Election Results

Provincial representatives of the opposition CNRP filed eight complaints with the National Election Committee (NEC) on Wednesday over irregularities in the electoral process, and planned to file at least six more before this morning’s deadline, according to party officials.

“Our party’s representatives are filing complaints with the NEC, there will be around 14 to 15” overall, said CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith.

“We complain against the primary results based on irregularities during the election such as the voter lists and the disappearance of people’s names, which effected the electoral outcome.”

NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha said that the NEC had received eight complaints from the CNRP in the provinces of Kratie, Battambang, Prey Veng, Pursat and the Phnom Penh municipality and would spend the next two days “resolving” the complaints.

“Those complaints are not about the results, they are just complaints on everything related to voter lists, the 1404 [Identity Card for Elections] forms and anonymous voters,” Mr. Nytha said, adding that the NEC had requested further evidence from the CNRP before accepting some of the complaints and would meet with party officials today to discuss their grievances.

“We will invite them [CNRP officials] to settle the complaint, we need 48 hours to resolve these complaints,” Mr. Nytha said, adding that the NEC would look into the complaints one at a time, beginning with reports from Kratie that there was widespread misuse of 1404 forms.

The official complaints from the CNRP come as talks with the ruling CPP over the formation of a committee to investigate election irregularities have stalled.

The CPP has said that it will only return to the negotiating table if invited to do so by the NEC, and Mr. Nytha has said the NEC has no plans of calling a new round of talks, as the CNRP has rejected its authority to lead an investigation.

Mr. Ponhearith said the CNRP also planned to file a general complaint Wednesday over the national results, which indicate that the CPP won 68 seats to 55 for the CNRP.

While leaders of the opposition party have said that mass demonstrations will be a last resort if an impartial investigation is not conducted into the July 28 poll, Mr. Ponhearith said that the CNRP has not given up on the possibility of fruitful talks with the CPP.

“We have not set the date for mass demonstrations because we want both parties to form a special committee to settle the irregularities,” he said.

Despite previous reports from the CPP of its own supporters being prevented from entering polling stations in Kandal province and of CNRP president Sam Rainsy campaigning in Phnom Penh on election day, CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said that his party did not plan to file any official complaints against the NEC’s preliminary results.

“We do not have any objections. The decision is free and fair based on the people’s will,” he said.

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