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EU sends experts to assess environment

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea (centre) on Saturday announces to the media that over 9.4 million ballots will be printed for June’s commune elections. Photo supplied
NEC spokesman Hang Puthea (centre) on Saturday announces to the media that over 9.4 million ballots will be printed for June’s commune elections. Photo supplied

EU sends experts to assess environment

The EU has deployed an election expert mission (EEM) to Cambodia to assess the electoral environment for June’s commune elections.

The team, consisting of three experts, arrived on April 25 and will be staying until after the elections, EU Ambassador to Cambodia George Edgar said in an email yesterday.

“Their role is to make an assessment of the electoral environment and process for internal use by the EU and its Member States, and to provide recommendations that will be passed to the [National Election Committee] and the Cambodian authorities,” he wrote, adding that the EEM will not deliver any public statements.

In a press release on Friday, the NEC said Edgar and his delegation met with the committee’s secretary-general, Tep Nytha, on April 27 to present the EEM, led by Stavros Petropoulos, international relations officer of the European External Action Service in Cambodia.

In response to an EU request, the NEC has assigned the director of its communications department, Khorn Keo Mono, to assist the EEM, the press release says.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea yesterday said that over 9.4 million ballots will be printed for the commune elections, which are expected to see around 7.8 million people cast a vote.

He defended the extra ballots as “reasonable”, since about 50 reserve ballots will be allocated to each polling station. The printing is expected to cost $2 million.

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