The National Assembly (NA) provided a unanimous vote of confidence for Prach Chan to continue to head the National Election Committee (NEC), as it voted for the nine members of the body on December 12.

In a December 13 press release, the NA’s General Secretariat announced that Chan will remain chair, while Cheur Chamnan will serve as deputy head. 

The release added that all nine members are set to take an oath of allegiance at the Royal Palace before taking office on December 14. 

On the same day, the NEC announced that it has formally recognised political party registrations and candidate lists for next year’s election of the fifth legislature of the Senate.

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will field 116 candidates, 22 of them women. The Khmer Will Party has 116 candidates (23 women). The Nation Power Party has 116 candidates (17 women), while the FUNCINPEC has 116 candidates (seven women).

NEC spokesman Som Sorida said on December 13 that NEC will continue to adhere to the law on the organisation and functioning of the NEC, as well as electoral laws. The committee is obligated to organise general and non-general elections, including at both the national and sub-national levels.

He added that during the new mandate, the NEC will work tirelessly within its purview to conduct future elections, as defined by the Constitution. 

“We are determined to conduct the elections, as well as ensuring they are free, fair, just and transparent, in adherence with the principles a liberal multi-party democracy,” he continued.

Sam Sokuntheamy, executive director of the NGO Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), said on December 13 that Chan’s re-election as the head of NEC was likely due to the fact that the CPP holds the majority of seats in the NA. Chan, he noted, is a member of the CPP.

“The entire NEC is made up of nine members. These members all come from the CPP, FUNCINPEC and civil society organisations. [Hopefully] the NEC will make more positive changes because the members come from different political parties and CSOs,” he said.

KWP spokesman Kim Sour Phirith said on December 13 that his party hopes the NEC would make some positive changes in conducting the forthcoming elections, and would ensure they are transparent, fair and just for all other political parties.