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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vote fraud complaints dismissed

Vote fraud complaints dismissed

Constitutional Council says no evidence of irregularities

IN the wake of their crushing defeat at the polls, opposition parties have been dealt another blow by the Constitutional Council, which on Thursday rejected all of their demands for a re-vote amid claims of rampant election fraud.

The Constitutional Council upheld the National Election Committee's rejection of complaints from Kem Sokha's Human Rights Party after a four-hour hearing.  

"The HRP's complaint has no clear, reasonable legal grounds, and this is why we have rejected it," said council President Ek Sam Ol.

He added that the council felt that the NEC's decision not to grant the HRP a re-vote in contested provinces was legally and judicially valid. He added that the HRP had presented insufficient supporting evidence with their complaint.

The Sam Rainsy Party's complaints were all dismissed Wednesday.

Election invalid

The HRP complaint was submitted to the Constitutional Council on August 16 and asserted the council should not recognise the results of the July 27 national election because of widespread voter irregularities.

Ek Sam Ol said the HRP had claimed that names were duplicated on the voter lists,  but he said that the party had failed to prove this.

According to the HRP's deputy secretary general, Nhek Vannara, party representatives reported duplicate names on the voter list, which the party maintains is evidence of electoral fraud at 15,255 polling offices across the country.

"We brought evidence of these duplicate names to the hearing, but our arguments were still rejected by the council, who said we didn't have enough witnesses," Nhek Vannara said.

Em Sophat, a representative of the NEC, told the council during the hearing that the committee did not contest the fact that the voter list contained some duplicate names. But he said this could easily be explained as "some relatives use the same identity card to register with their commune chiefs to vote".

I DON’T BELIEVE THAT IN ONE VILLAGE THREE OR FOUR PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME NAME.

The HRP's Nhek Vannara said that this proved there had been a lack of oversight in the voter registration process. "I don't believe that in one village, three or four people have the same name, share the same date of birth," he said.

He said he was unsurprised by the ruling, as "both the council and the NEC, where are they from?" he asked, referring to the opposition parties' allegation that the NEC and the Constitutional Council are aligned with the Cambodian People's Party.

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