The National Election Committee (NEC) announced the relaxation of rules in order to allow political parties it has formally recognised to register their candidates and agents by proxy. This is in response to the unprecedented number of constituencies being contested in this year’s commune elections.
NEC spokesman Som Sorida told The Post on February 20 that the committee amended the rules in response to heads of parties reporting difficulty travelling to locations in order to sign candidate and agent registration forms.
The high number of constituencies being contested in this year’s commune council election – 1,652 – has led to the 10 parties’ leaders requesting and being issued the letters transferring the right to fill out the application forms for agent and candidate registration from party heads to grassroots party representatives, Sorida said.
Registration of candidates can be done by paper form or online, the latter of which requires the parties to request an account for use. As of February 20, five parties have submitted requests for accounts.
“Overall, we can make a general assessment that the 10 political parties are prepared to contest the election scheduled for June 5,” Sorida said.
Kheuy Sinoeun, deputy head of the Cambodian Nation Love Party (CNLP), told The Post on February 20 that the party had already transferred the right of registration to heads of all district and town executive committees.
“We have sent this letter of rights transfer to all districts, towns throughout the country to prepare to sign lists for the election,” he said.
Sok Eysan, spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), told The Post that the CPP had completed the transfer of rights to party representatives in all the commune councils pending a date of application for registration. He added that the decision by the NEC to relax the rule was to simplify the registration process for all parties involved.
“We grant the right to the local [representatives] to sign and apply for the registration of candidates to NEC. We felt it would not have been right to do otherwise as there are so many communes,” he said.
Political parties can apply for candidate registration at the commune electoral commissions for three days from March 4-6, according to the NEC work calendar.
The 10 recognised parties include the CPP; CNLP; Cambodian Youth Party; Candlelight Party; Khmer United Party; Khmer National United Party; Cambodian Nationality Party; Cambodian Reform Party; Kampucheaniyum Party; and Reaksmey Khemara Party.