Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ballot papers nearly ready ahead of commune elections

Ballot papers nearly ready ahead of commune elections

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NEC chairman Prach Chan visits the printing house manufacturing the ballot papers in the capital’s Tuol Kork district on May 6. NEC

Ballot papers nearly ready ahead of commune elections

The National Election Committee (NEC) on May 6 announced that they have nearly finished printing the ballot papers for the coming June 5 commune council elections, with the papers for just three provinces remaining to be printed.

NEC chairman Prach Chan inspected the progress of the printing operation on May 6, at a printing house in Boeung Kak I commune of the capital’s Tuol Kork district. He was joined by around 40 people from several political parties, NGOs and the media.

Speaking while visiting the printing house, Chan said the NEC had invited all relevant stakeholders in the elections to see the papers and the printing process, as had been done in previous elections.

“Only three more provinces remain for which the ballot papers need to be printed. The papers will then be boxed and transported to those provinces, where they will be handed over to the provincial election commissions which will distribute them to the commune election commissions.

“The commune council commissions will send them to election stations no more than 36 hours before the June 5 elections,” he said.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea told reporters at the printing house that there are a total of 1,652 types of form – one for each of the Kingdom’s communes. The ballot papers are different from one commune to another because the number of participating political parties for each commune varies and the number of candidates is also different.

He said that of the 17 participating political parties, some have candidates in more than 1,600 communes, while others are contesting less than 1,000. The order that political parties appear on each ballot paper is different too, as it was decided by draws conducted in each commune.

According to Puthea, there are 9,205,681 eligible voters and 23,602 election stations. This required about 11 million printed ballot papers, including around one million reserved papers. The papers are printed in the form of a cluster, with 50 papers for each cluster.

“The papers are carefully designed so they cannot be forged. The company that won the contract to print these papers has guaranteed the safety of these papers to the NEC,” he said.

Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) spokesman Loek Sothea said on May 8 that the NEC had invited all political parties to see the logos of each party to ensure their accuracy.

“We saw to it that there were no errors, as we held many consultative meetings. We have sent letters to the NEC many times, urging them not to print more forms than are needed because it only wastes money and those papers could be used in the wrong way,” he said.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections (NICFIC) echoed Sothea’s concerns about the budget being wasted on printing more ballot papers than were needed. He said only two to three per cent of additional papers should be printed.

“The ballot papers at each election station are rarely damaged. Voters understand the seriousness of the democratic process and do not tick the wrong candidate and then ask for another paper. There are too many ballots being printed – they are expensive and we have hired a private company to print them. The money should be saved and used for other things,” he said.

Som Sorida, another NEC spokesman, brushed off such concerns. He told The Post on May 8 that the extra papers are being printed to ensure the election goes smoothly. There cannot be a shortage of ballot papers on election day, he added.

“There should be no concerns that the papers could be used for other purposes, because the NEC ensures transparency throughout the whole election process. At election stations there are political agents, NGOs and election monitors. Ballot papers will be accurately recorded there,” he said.


  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • Honda shutters Siem Reap football club

    Japanese football legend Keisuke Honda, the owner of Siem Reap football club Soltilo Angkor FC, has been forced to shut the club down, after it failed to attract sponsorship for the upcoming season. Honda, the former manager of the Cambodia men's national football team, said

  • Hun Sen warns of regional tensions

    ASIA is becoming a dangerous geopolitical hotspot, with several countries announcing that they intend to send naval vessels towards Southeast Asia and on to the South China Sea, warned Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Heated geopolitical issues can easily escalate, namely to war. I am not

  • PM declares ASEAN Para Games open

    The 12th ASEAN Para Games officially kicked off on the evening of June 3 at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, with a spectacular opening ceremony featuring fireworks and performances by some of the Kingdom’s most accomplished talents. Tens of thousands of sports fans

  • Waterway job still pending for Kampot tourism port’s opening

    The search is still on for a contractor to expand and deepen the Kampot International Tourism Port’s waterway and deliver additional enhancements allowing safe access for larger vessels, nearly a year after the main construction work on the 4.25ha site was completed on June 30, 2022.