NEC rebuffs voter list complaint

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League for Democracy Party spokesman E Sangleng during a press conference on December 30. Hean Rangsey

The National Election Committee (NEC) issued a statement on January 8 denouncing baseless allegations of irregularities raised by the League for Democracy Party (LDP) about the registration process for last year’s annual update of the voter list.

“For most of the LDP’s complaints, there is insufficient evidence and a lack of clear legal facts to prove that either the voter registrar, voter registration team or the commune and district authorities violated the electoral rules and procedures,” the NEC said.

The statement claimed that LDP’s observers had initiated arguments with officials at almost all voter registration offices across the country.

Then, the NEC said, the observers secretly took photos, made audio recordings and snatched documents from the newly registered voters without asking for permission.

The NEC further said that since its inception the LDP had been causing problems by using the wrong forms to register as political party observers and to monitor voter registration, and also ignoring other NEC procedures .

“The review and registration of the 2020 voter list were going ahead smoothly and we thank the stakeholders who applauded the excellent results.

“But the NEC regrets that the LDP has refused to recognise the results and even insulted national institutions, including the NEC [as] the regulator and also rejected the [decision of the] Constitutional Council [of Cambodia],” the NEC said in a statement.

NEC spokesman Dim Sovannarom declined to comment further on January 10.

LDP spokesman E Sangleng accused the NEC of being under political influence and deviating from its role as a non-partisan, impartial, fair and independent institution.

“The NEC has gradually forgotten its role as a [election] regulator and has become an opponent of the LDP. Further, the NEC’s message was full of falsehoods [aimed to] mislead public opinion into thinking the LDP has made baseless allegations,” he said.

Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia executive director Sam Kuntheamy said the LDP did not recognise the 2020 voter registration results because it found evidence of irregularities and civil society organisations hold the same opinion.

“I urge the two sides to hold discussion on the past shortcomings, resolve them peacefully and stand by the procedure to promote a [fair and] smooth election,” he said.