Registration of political party agents underway nationwide

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A banner requesting people to check their names on the voter list hang along a road in Chak Angre Leu commune of Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on Monday. Hong Menea

As the 2022 commune elections approach, the number of political party agents requesting to observe the 2021 electoral list and registration process from October 8-19 currently stands at 4,605, including 1,193 women, according to the National Election Committee (NEC).

In its press release on October 20, NEC said authorised agents came from six parties – 4,353 from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP); 212 from the Khmer United National Party; 32 from the Cambodian Nation Love Party; four from the Beehive Social Democratic Party; two from the One Khmer Party; and two from the Cambodian Youth Party.

The agents observe voter list verification and registration and must abide by relevant laws and regulations and adhere to the code of ethics for political parties as well as candidates and agents of political parties during the election process.

The registration of agents began on October 8 and continues until February 2, according to the press release.

NEC Spokesman Som Sorida told The Post on October 20 that the role of political party agents was set out in the NEC’s procedural regulations such as being present at electoral registration offices and alerting the head of registration office if any violation of the regulations occurs.

He added that in the case of a violation, the registration office heads have to follow the regulations and procedures of non-compliance by which they are bound, and they have the right to complain to commune councils.

Political party agents also have the right to record and take pictures in the office. But they cannot disrupt the electoral registration processes or violate the security and safety of those who register to vote.

“Another role agents have during electoral and registration checks is to cooperate closely with electoral registration teams and commune councils,” he said.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said deploying the political party observers is a NEC procedure, and that elections were open to national and international observers, especially political party ones who had previously contested elections.

“This is for transparency, especially for political parties participating in the election to bring closure to them. So, they cannot claim there are shortcomings in this process. This is the principle and procedure set by the [NEC],” he said.