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CNRP to send 40,000 observers to June poll

Opposition acting President Kem Sokha speaks at the party meeting yesterday in Kampong Thom province.
Opposition acting President Kem Sokha speaks at the party meeting yesterday in Kampong Thom province. Photo supplied.

CNRP to send 40,000 observers to June poll

The Cambodia National Rescue Party will send more than 40,000 election observers to the polls for the June 4 commune council elections, to go along with their pool of 20,000 candidates, according to the party’s acting president, Kem Sokha.

“We must select over 40,000 electoral observers, and we must conduct a training course for them. So I would like to repeat that we have a lot of work to do,” Sokha told a group of opposition party members and activists in Kratie on Sunday.

Sokha also said the party has nearly finalised the slate of candidates it plans to run against the ruling Cambodia People’s Party on June 4.

National Election Committee (NEC) spokesman Hang Puthea said yesterday that there were more than 20,000 polling places, and that the observers were welcome but needed proper training.

“NEC does not limit the number of observers to fulfil the role of transparency in the election process,” Puthea said, adding that the NEC would also consider assisting with training sessions.

Koul Panha, executive director of election monitor Comfrel, said that a higher number of observers did not necessarily correlate to fairer elections.

“The number is not important, the NEC is important. Now we demand that NEC be transparent when counting ballots so that we have accurate reports of vote counting,” Panha said.

Both the 2012 commune poll and 2013 national election were subject to allegations of electoral irregularities.

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