NEC calls meeting to examine vote results

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Polling station workers count votes at Koh Sdach commune in the capital’s Chroy Changvar district in 2022. Heng Chivoan

The National Committee Election (NEC) has scheduled a meeting for June 24 to examine the official commune council election results, with a NEC official saying that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the Candlelight Party have both had a slight increase in vote totals after certain complaints were addressed.

NEC spokesman Som Sorida said the official election results will be announced on the morning of June 26, with the event televised by the National Television of Cambodia (TVK).

“On Friday, we will finalise the results and on June 26 we will broadcast them on TVK,” he said.

He continued that the figures for the preliminary results as compared to the formal ones were only slightly different, with the CPP gaining some additional votes.

Sorida stated that when the primary results first came out, the CPP had received an estimated 5,377,754 votes. But the results were tallied again and examined closely at all polling stations, with the total now standing at 5,378,773. Similarly, the Candlelight Party’s totals have increased from 1,610,434 to 1,610,656 votes.

Candlelight Party vice-president Thach Setha said on June 23 that NEC must also examine the irregularities that he and his party claim occurred during the elections in order to hold a completely free and fair contest next time.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan could not be reached for comment on June 23.

But he told The Post on June 9 that the NEC was an independent organisation established under the law to function with clear roles and duties in conducting elections and determining the results.

“The NEC is functioning according to the law. They cannot be accused of being biased or of engaging in irregular conduct. The CPP will follow all decisions and rulings made by the NEC,” he said.

Sam Sokuntheamy, the executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), said on June 23 that the NEC has announced the preliminary results and has already addressed the complaints that were lodged about the elections, and that parties should now shift their focus to next year’s national election.

“Once the NEC announces the results, nothing much can really be changed. The political parties should not protest or file lawsuits now because the elections are over,” he added.

According to the NEC, the June 5 commune elections went smoothly and enjoyed a peaceful environment with security, safety and good public order absent of violence or threats, with more than 80 per cent of the total electorate of 9,250,681 registered voters casting ballots.