Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC hits back at claims of bias in favour of CPP

NEC hits back at claims of bias in favour of CPP

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Traffic passes in front of the National Election Commission office in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

NEC hits back at claims of bias in favour of CPP

The National Election Committee (NEC) released a statement hitting back against accusations that it has become biased to the ruling party, while also repeating oft-used government warnings on the dangers of “colour revolution”.

Dismissing “fabricated news” and “dirty tricks”, the NEC’s press reaction team wrote on Saturday that the group is still “independent, neutral, transparent, and fair”.

The NEC was originally made up of four ruling CPP-nominated members, four opposition CNRP-nominated members, and one neutral member. Following the dissolution of the CNRP and the resignation of three of its NEC appointees, three replacements were chosen – two from smaller parties that were awarded seats in the National Assembly following the dissolution, and another member with strong ties to the CPP.

Saturday’s press release appears to be a response to a series of posts made by Facebook news personality Chham Chhany. Chhany has accused the NEC of being biased and alleged – without proof – that the NEC submitted evidence to the Supreme Court on the CNRP’s involvement in a purported foreign-backed colour revolution.

“Colour revolution has taken place in the world for many decades and many countries in the world have suffered,” the NEC statement says, parroting ruling party talking points.

Sam Rainsy, the self-exiled former CNRP president, said the NEC was being forced to “implement CPP-inspired undemocratic laws”. He said the NEC’s statement was a “smokescreen”.

“The NEC, after the dissolution of the CNRP, has become an expedient tool for the CPP. Any future resolution to the current political crisis must include measures for the NEC to become more balanced in its composition and more powerful in its competence,” he said via email yesterday.

Rong Chhun, a former NEC official appointed by the CNRP who resigned after the opposition’s dissolution, said the NEC should focus on strengthening itself rather than dismissing criticism. Chhun also questioned the group’s statements on the nature of colour revolution.

“Colour revolutions happen depending on the situation of the country . . . If our country is peaceful, free and respects the law, there is nothing to worry about. Colour revolution happens as a result of social injustice,” Chhun said.

Chhun pointed out that people may sometimes protest for “freedom and justice” in Cambodia – the freedom to peacefully protest is enshrined in law – but this should not be considered a colour revolution.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said