NEC’s voter list decision upheld

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Members of the Constitutional Council of Cambodia (CCC). The CCC has upheld the decision by the National Election Committee (NEC) in relation to complaints filed by the League for Democracy Party. CCC

The Constitutional Council of Cambodia (CCC) has upheld the decision by the National Election Committee (NEC) in relation to complaints about names deleted from the voter registration list, filed by the League for Democracy Party (LDP).

CCC spokesman Prom Vichet Akara told The Post on December 23 that the CCC had decided to not entertain the complaints and announce the final decision.

Citing reasons for the decision, the council said the LDP did not attend a second hearing. That amounted to waiving the right to demand a solution.

The CCC received 95 complaints from the LDP over names deleted from the voter list.

To date, the CCC has addressed 28 complaints at the first time and 23 for the second time. The remaining complaints will be addressed on December 25.

Although the LDP did not send a representative to attend the hearing, the procedure still moved forward as usual without delay. Vichet Akara said that attending it or not is the right of the complainant.

“But we still don’t know how the CCC will make a decision this coming Friday. It depends on the CCC and attendance of the complainant and presentation of evidence of his party,” he said.

LDP spokesman E Sangleng said the CCC’s decisions were unjust. He said even though the CCC claimed that it was correct, the procedure to address the complaints was unjust and not transparent because the hearing was not broadcast live in public.

“All of this is for the public to know, it is not a private matter because it is a national issue. Inside the CCC room, there is no justice. But outside it, members of the CCC said it is correct. In other words, we have to debate this matter. They had made the decision in advance,” he said.

Sam Sokuntheamy, the executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), said the LDP seemed to be unhappy about the CCC’s decision to the point of boycotting the second hearing. The hearing seemed to have been held for a short time and questioning sessions were short, making the complainant unsatisfied.

“The CCC should have provided equal opportunities and [sufficient] times to both sides, especially allowing the plaintiff to present evidence. Moreover, the decision seemed to be too quick. It is like a coordinated hearing,” he said.

NEC deputy secretary-general Som Sorida welcomed the CCC’s decision, which he said was in line with the earlier solution put forward by the NEC.

“The NEC had gone to conduct research study into the cases and addressed the LDP’s complaints in a complete, detailed and investigative manner.

“The CCC understands and believes in the NEC’s decision, which is based on the law,” he said.

Sorida said that following the CCC’s decision, the NEC will now have to prepare a valid voting list this year and it will be posted on December 31.