Election Ink trial a success

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NEC officials test the ink to be used in the June 5 commune council elections to ensure its quality on Friday. Heng Chivoan

The ink which will be used in the coming commune council elections is of good quality, announced the National Election Committee (NEC), following testing by 17 representatives from civil society organisations and political parties on May 13.

“This is not the first time that we have presented an opportunity for the ink to be checked out. The quality remains high,” NEC spokesman Hang Puthea told reporters after the testing.

“The different political party representatives appreciated the NEC for inviting them to participate as it ensures transparency on the product, which is manufactured in India,” Puthea said.

Puthea said the purchase of the election ink had been doubled due to the increase of the number of communes. Each election station has two bottles of ink while each provincial election commission also holds a reserve of ink that can be used when needed.

“We store the ink and are ready to distribute it to all municipal and provincial election commissions. They will deliver it to their election stations,” he said.

He said participating political parties had expressed their faith in the ink and were currently preparing themselves for the election. The parties had already said they would accept the results of the elections.

NEC member Hel Sarath said the ink test was made publicly to prove that it could not be easily removed. The ink is produced by Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd, he noted.

He said more than 30 countries had purchased election ink from this company to use in their elections, notably Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections (NICFEC,) said that through his observation, the ink is of good quality.

“The election ink can be trusted, and we will not have issues like we had previously, where rumours were spread that the ink could be easily removed. Based on the testing, there will be no such claims at these elections,” he said.

Kuntheamy urged the authorities to ensure safety for political activists and agents to carry out their political activities freely, as he said there had already been some irregularities in terms of security.

The commune election campaigns will begin on May 21 and end on June 3, two days ahead of the elections.