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Opposition calls foul on PEC conflict of interest

Opposition calls foul on PEC conflict of interest

The Cambodia National Rescue Party in Pursat has filed a complaint with the National Election Committee asking that the heads of the provincial election committee (PEC) be reshuffled after it was discovered that the wife of one member and sister of another is standing as a ruling party lawmaker candidate.

In the letter dated yesterday and obtained by the Post, five Pursat CNRP candidates call for the replacement of committee chairman Phan Vansith and vice chairman Em Phouriboth who are the husband and brother, respectively, of Cambodian People’s Party candidate Em Ponna.

“We want the NEC to change them [Vansith and Phouriboth] to avoid the conflict of interest,” writes CNRP candidate Ngim Nheng.

“We are competing against each other and her husband is a referee.”

Contacted yesterday, Vansith acknowledged that his wife was standing as a lawmaker for the ruling party but said there was no problem as she had been a CPP lawmaker since the last mandate and he had served in his position without complaint for years.

“They [the CNRP] should have complained at the beginning of when the NEC made its announcements,” he said, adding that he never puts family affairs ahead of his PEC duties.

NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha said he had not received the petition but would review it, adding that Vansith’s appointment was made based on his capacity and that NEC had not realised Phouriboth was his brother-in-law.

“We have to inspect the procedure of the election rules and the internal regulation of the NEC,” he said.

“However, I don’t have the right to make decision and will forward this to NEC [members] to make the decision.” 

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