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Commune chief drops complaint against Mu Sochua

Commune chief drops complaint against Mu Sochua

A complaint against Sam Rainsy Party legislator Mu Sochua had been dropped yesterday because a court would take too long to deal with it, Hor Vengnai, the Kandal province’s Kbal Koh commune chief who first filed the complaint, said.

On Wednesday, Hor Vengnai filed a complaint against Mu Sochua with the National Election Commission in response to her use of loudspeakers to disseminate voter information, which he saw as disturbing public order.

The NEC told Hor Vengnai he would have to take the complaint to court.

“I did not send the complaint to court,” Hor Vengnai said. “The court case is not easy and takes a long time, so my leaders have told me to end it.”

The complaint was a serious violation of human rights and free and fair elections, Mu Sochua told the Post yesterday.  “The NEC has to stand on its own feet and be strong,” she said.

“That was a criminal complaint against me. The NEC should have responded straight away that giving voters registration information was allowed under their mandate.”

Solving disputes during the voter registration period was not within the NEC’s mandate, its secretary-general, Tep Nytha said. “Voter registration is within the competence of the local authority and the Ministry of Interior.”

The NEC  had a problem-solving role  only during the election campaign, Tep Nytha said.

The NEC delegated its powers to local authorities and the Interior Ministry  during voter registration, Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak  confirmed. “We act totally under the guidance of the NEC,” he said.

The NEC said in a meeting on Tuesday that the distribution of leaflets or the use of loudspeakers to spread voter-registration information must first be approved by local authorities.

The director of election watchdog Comfrel, Koul Panha, said: “The NEC should encourage and support this activity”.

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