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CNRP threatens NEC protest

CNRP threatens NEC protest

6 nec voting
A man votes at a polling booth in Kampong Cham province during nationwide commune elections last year. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

The opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) warned publicly it would lead a mass demonstration before the election if the National Election Committee refuses to revise its voter-list policies.

“We have requested the NEC to audit the voter list, but the NEC has never followed us and said that we have raised the same points again and again. If NEC does not follow our suggestion, we will continue,” legislator Kuoy Bunroeun told NEC chairman Im Sousdey during a press conference held by the committee.

“If [the NEC] does not reform then we will lead a mass movement demanding change based on the UN’s recommendations, ” he said.

The opposition and election monitors have criticised the NEC for a lack of transparency in voter-list preparations, saying the list was inflated with ghost voters.

Sousdey brushed over such criticisms yesterday, saying in response only that it was the CNRP’s right to make such claims but that they had little bearing on reality.

 “I’m not interested in anything because it is their right. Go ahead with what you want to do, but the law I carry out every day is the law on election,” Sousdey told reporters during the conference meant to inform voters on a number of pre-election initiatives.

Chief among them is the establishment of a toll-free number, 1285, that voters can call in the lead-up to the election should they have any questions.

He also termed a recent voter list audit by the National Democratic Institute, which found evidence of flaws in voter registration, “suspect”.

A second report, issued by the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, which said a number of voters had been mistakenly left off the list was “better”, Sousdey said, but still inaccurate.