NEC Finishes Complaints; Voter Registration Prep Continues

The country’s national election body has dealt with all 64 complaints filed by the ruling party and opposition over the recent commune elections, an official said on Tuesday, paving the way for an announcement of official results on Sunday.

The National Election Committee (NEC) can now turn its attention to preparations for next year’s national election, which are already underway as voter registration will start in September, said Khorn Keo Mono, director of the NEC’s communications department. Mr. Keo Mono said on Tuesday that the body had resolved all complaints from the commune elections, 43 of which were rejected.

Members of the National Election Committee Left: Hang Puthea and Right: Hing Thirith holds a meeting about commune election campaign at the headquarter in May. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“The complaints are rejected because they are not legally right and there are no basic evidences to support” them, Mr. Keo Mono said, adding that some of the complaints arrived after deadlines had passed.

The NEC is the last level of appeals for party complaints, which were passed on by commune election committees to their provincial counterparts if negotiations failed.

Unofficial results show the CPP winning about 70 percent of the commune chief spots and about 51 percent of the popular vote. The CNRP took all but one of the remaining chief spots and won about 44 percent of the popular vote.

Parties filed 46 requests for recounts, Mr. Keo Mono said. But just three such requests were accepted by the NEC, in contentious events overseen by party representatives last week.

Meng Sopheary, the CNRP’s head of electoral and legislative affairs, said on Tuesday that she was unaware of the NEC’s final conclusions. She also said the committee should have given more credence to its 30 petitions—only three of which were resolved.

“Some communes we lost only by one or three votes,” Ms. Sopheary said.

Still, she said the party would accept the committee’s decision. “That is the final decision of the NEC and we accept that because it is required by the law,” she said.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan could not be reached for comment.

As the NEC announces official results on Sunday, it will also continue preparations for next year’s national election, with voter registration set to run on September 1 through November 9, according to Mr. Keo Mono, though no official date for the vote itself has been set.

In August 2015, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the election would take place during its customary month of July, backtracking on a 2014 agreement with the opposition party to hold the vote in February, during the dry season.

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