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Candidates are safe: NEC

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Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan said he is not concerned by the complaints of other political parties. Heng Chivoan

Candidates are safe: NEC

The National Election Committee (NEC) said on Wednesday that all candidates and political parties participating in the July 29 elections have the right to equal protection and safety under the law.

The comment from NEC member Duch Son was made on Wednesday amid claims from smaller parties that some local authorities have not been cooperating and even discriminated against them.

Speaking during a meeting in which he presented the complete list of political parties and candidates competing in the polls, he cited Article 32 of the Constitution which says in part that: “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security”.

Hence, Son said every candidate will also have these rights. If candidates can provide evidence that they have been threatened or treated unfairly, they can contact the NEC, he said.

However, Dharmacracy Party President Pothitey Savathey said some local officials have been hindering his party’s election preparations and refused to cooperate with political parties.

“When I went to meet my activists, they stopped my car until I contacted the NEC,”she said.

Savathey also criticised the Cambodian People’s Party’s (CPP) “family books”, which registered party members in a family and requires them to provide pictures of each person.

“I am not happy with the CPP for distributing a party family book to people and asking them to fill in the forms in the book . . . one of my activists told me that his parents were forced to fill in the book, but he is actually a supporter of my family,” She said.

But CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said on Wednesday he is not concerned with any politician’s reactions.

“We have nothing to say on this issue. It’s their right to complain. What’s important is that the CPP does good deeds for the people and respects the principles of law and democracy. We can’t satisfy everybody,” he said.

NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha said the CPP family books are nothing to worry about.

“I think there is no problem because it just wants to know the party’s members, do not worry too much,” he said.

On another matter, Son also said that in addition to the number of seats in each constituency, there are 125 seats divided into 25 cities and provinces, with six seats in Banteay Meanchey, eight in Battambang, 10 in Kampong Cham, eight in Tbong Khmum and four in Kampong Chhnang.

In the other provinces, there are six in Kampong Speu, six in Kampong Thom, six in Kampot, 11 seats in Kandal, one in Koh Kong, three in Kratie, one in Mondulkiri, 12 in Phnom Penh, one in Preah Vihear, 11 in Prey Veng, four in Pursat, one in Rattanakkiri, six in Siem Reap, three in Preah Sihanouk, one in Stung Treng, five in Svay Rieng, eight in Takeo, one in Kep, one in Pailin, and one in Oddar Meanchey.

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