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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - DECENTRALISATION: May election registration closing

DECENTRALISATION: May election registration closing

DECENTRALISATION

THE ruling Cambodian People's Party, the royalist Funcinpec and Norodom Ranariddh parties, and the opposition Sam Rainsy Party will be the only parties represented in the May council elections, Tep Nytha, secretary general of the National Election Committee (NEC), told the Post Sunday.

May's council election will see the country's commune councillors vote to determine the representation of their respective parties at the higher-level district council and the municipal and provincial councils. Under the council election law, councillors may not vote for any individual of their choosing but instead must vote for one of the candidates put up by each party represented in that commune. Parties have had a five-day window, between last Thursday and today, to list their candidates. Some 11,353 commune councilors will vote to elect 3,235 representatives.

The CPP holds 7,993 seats in the Commune Council, with the SRP sitting on 2,660 seats. Funcinpec and NRP, which hold 274 and 424 seats, respectively, have formed a coalition to pool their weak bases for the May election.

The Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel) has predicted the CPP will sweep 2,436, or more than 75 percent, of the seats, with the SRP carrying 689 seats and NRP and Funcinpec taking 60 and 44 seats, respectively.  

The election watchdog group last week issued a report criticising the upcoming election, in which the group says the polls will hold no interest for the general public, which is not allowed to vote in them, and will therefore prove largely meaningless. 

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