Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC: jailed councillors must vote

NEC: jailed councillors must vote

NEC: jailed councillors must vote

090507_04b.jpg
090507_04b.jpg

Election organising body says two councillors are in jail, but the opposition says there are five. 

Photo by:
TRACEY SHELTON

The NEC's Tep Nytha: ‘Detained councillors have the right to vote.'

THE National Election Committee has asked the Ministry of Justice to ensure that jailed commune councillors are allowed to vote in the May 17 election.

Tep Nytha, secretary general of the NEC, told the Post on Wednesday that he knew of at least two commune councillors currently in provincial prisons.

He said provincial authorities would be responsible for taking imprisoned members to and from polling stations.

"Members of the commune councils who have been detained still have the right to vote," Tep Nytha said. "If any members of the commune councils are missing on election day, that will affect the result since there are only a small number of voters."

The country's 11,353 commune councillors from four political parties - the ruling Cambodian People's Party, the Sam Rainsy Party, Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party - will vote in the poll to elect members to provincial, district and municipal councils.

The vote is part of the government's decentralisation program and is meant to fill the gap in political representation between commune councils and parliament.

SRP says five in jail

Yim Sovann, an MP and spokesman for the SRP, told the Post that at least five SRP councillors were in prison.

"One is the SRP commune chief in Kampong Thom province," Yim Sovann said. "He was accused of kidnapping, but this is political intimidation to threaten our activists."

The commune chief, Tuot Saron, was arrested March 18 and charged as an accomplice in the alleged illegal detention of a party activist.

Tep Nytha said he had not received any complaints of political intimidation from the contesting parties since campaigning had started.

He said the two largest parties - the CPP and the SRP - were running active campaigns, but Funcinpec and the NRP - which have only 699 councillors between them - were gathering in small groups at those councils where they have members.

Prime Minister Hun Sen recently appealed to the police and local authorities across the Kingdom to cooperate with the NEC to ensure a sound political environment and a free and fair election.

The election monitoring NGO Comfrel has previously said it will boycott the election. It stated that because the poll is restricted to commune councillors, and since the public cannot take part in the vote, it would not reflect the will of the people.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially