THE National Election Committee on Monday officially approved four
political parties to contest the provincial, district and municipal
council elections on May 17, amid renewed opposition criticisms that
the indirect elections are undemocratic.
NEC Secretary General
Tep Nytha said Monday the ruling Cambodian People's Party has listed
candidates in all 24 provinces, with the opposition Sam Rainsy Party,
Norodom Ranariddh Party and Funcinpec listing candidates in 23, seven
and five provinces,respectively.
"[On Monday] we closed
registrations for political parties and their candidates," he said,
adding that there had been "no problems" in the registration process
and that parties will have five days more to lodge complaints about
irregularities in the process.
But SRP President Sam Rainsy said
that the very process itself was flawed, and that May's "indirect"
council elections - in which only the 11,353 existing commune
councillors will be able to vote - would be a parody of democracy.
think that this is the worst kind of election system because it does
not allow local people to have a direct vote," he said Monday.
added that the election of the new councils similarly diverged from the
government's policy of decentralising power and that control would
remain concentrated in the hands of the chairmen of the councils -
which he expected to be dominated by ruling party candidates.
CPP does not want people to have a direct vote in every election in
Cambodia because it is still concerned about the democratic movement,"
Senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said, however, that the
opposition must work hard to build confidence among the people rather
than resorting to criticisms of the ruling party.
respects the laws and regulations of the NEC, and we see that the NEC
has done a good job following the electoral law," he said.
"The NEC freely allows media to access all information related to the election."