The National Election Committee (NEC) posted the formal results of an audit checking the names of registered voters this year that showed more than 8.8 million names on the voting list – an increase of more than 200,000 voters compared to last year.
The League for Democracy Party (LDP) objected to the NEC’s findings and questioned their validity, alleging that the process of registering voters had taken place without transparency, accuracy or fairness.
The day before the formal voting list was posted, LDP spokesman E Sangleng claimed that his party had identified more than 3,000 cases of irregularities in communes across the country, including the registration of people who had no residential addresses listed.
He also said the party had deployed 1,128 observers and 3,561 reserve observers in order to keep an eye on the process of checking the names on the list and registering the names of voters across the country.
The LDP had more observers than any other party or institution this year, according to Sangleng.
He added that the LDP had filed complaints with the NEC and the Constitutional Council of Cambodia (CCC) asking that the names of people who have no residential address in any commune be deleted, but they had been ignored.
The party has also compiled a 1,800-page report highlighting the irregularities.
“The report will be made public and presented to all civil society organisations, embassies and general consulates in Cambodia to inform them of these problems,” he said.
NEC deputy secretary-general Som Sorida said the LDP had a right to express its views regarding the accuracy of the voter list but they needed to do so responsibly and not in a manner that incites division in the country.
He further said the LDP’s allegations of irregularities in the voter list were completely unsubstantiated.
“The LDP is asking the NEC to disenfranchise voters based on their accusations alone. They want us to burden Cambodians who have already met the required conditions for registration. If the NEC were to take action based solely on the opinions of an individual or a group, it would be a serious mistake and unacceptable,” he said.
Sam Sokuntheamy, the executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC) also spoke at the press conference, saying his organisation could not vouch for the accuracy of the LDP’s report because no NICFEC representatives were present as observers.
“I would like to state that we aren’t in a position to verify the accuracy of this report and would have liked to have had our own observers present, but from what I’m hearing today it sounds like the [LDP] has evidence and witnesses. But this is a complicated issue and we would like to see an independent investigation of these claims from someone outside the LDP to verify them,” he said.