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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Election claims to be heard

Election claims to be heard

But opposition doubts fraud evidence will get fair review

SAM Rainsy Party officials said Thursday they doubted their election complaints would get a fair review as the Constitutional Council continued to examine the opposition's allegations of voter fraud stemming from last month's elections.

"We hope the Constitutional Council will resolve our complaint fairly, but we also recognise the possibility that it could just be going through the motions," party deputy secretary general Mu Sochua told the Post.

Mu Sochua on Tuesday delivered 20,000 thumbprints from disenfranchised voters to the council, which agreed to review the opposition's evidence of vote fraud after the National Election Committee dismissed their complaints on August 13. 

SRP President Sam Rainsy, who said at the time that he filed the complaints as a matter of honour, was pessimistic that the council would make a fair assessment.

"I have no faith in the Constitution Council," he said. "We have come here to do our duty, but we know that [the Council] serves the ruling party."

The opposition claims that hundreds of thousands of names were left off voter registration lists, giving an unfair advantage to the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) in the July 27 polls. It also says that the CPP manipulated voter registration forms on election day, giving ineligible people the chance to cast ballots in its favour.

Council President Ek Sam Ol could not be reached for comment Thursday, but the Council's secretary general, Pit Taing San, told the Post that all complaints will be considered fairly. Under its charter, the Council must process all complaints within 20 days, and has said it would deliver its judgment before the announcement of official election results September 17.

Kong Samon, a lawyer for the SRP, said he feared the Council's judgment would be politically biased.

"If the [council] is under political pressure, we will have no hope for justice," he said.

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