National Election Committee (NEC) spokesman Hang Puthea said yesterday that 71 complaints about polling procedures and vote counting at Sunday’s commune elections had been received so far, and that the body would be examining early releases of unofficial results.
An overwhelming majority of the complaints had come from the CPP and the CNRP, he said. The NEC was also concerned, however, that some media outlets and individuals may have illegally published unofficial early results.
“The NEC is still busy releasing the results of the election, so we have not had a meeting to talk about the case yet, but from what we have observed, there were some institutions that calculated the results internally and some individuals who posted them,” Puthea said.
The government-aligned media outlet Fresh News was the first to publish nationwide results on Sunday night, which showed the CPP winning about 70 percent of the councils. As of last night, the NEC still hadn’t released its own full results.
Yet others also released unofficial figures before the NEC, including Information Minister Khieu Kanharith – who has at past elections been the first to release results – as well as the CPP, the CNRP and a coalition of elections groups known as the Situation Room.
“We will review the legal status of that,” he said. “Now we are too busy working on the results.”
The Post also published stories attributing figures to the Fresh News data.
Among the complaints submitted to the NEC were two in Battambang province – in Bavel district’s Boeung Pram commune and Banan district’s Ta Kream commune – alleging that vote counters had invalidated ballots that had clearly indicated a vote for the CNRP.
In those cases, voters had marked the ballot near the CNRP logo, or inside the rectangle around the party’s name, instead of inside the correct box, but had made their choice clear, said Chea Chiv, head of the CNRP’s provincial executive committee. “In the polling station there were 160 voters on the list ... and [there were] about 60 ballots considered invalid ... and they voted for CNRP.”
The complaints period closes today, and the NEC will issue official final results by June 25.