Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Commune vote smooth but not perfect, says watchdog




Commune vote smooth but not perfect, says watchdog

Anfrel Secretary General Rohana Hettiarachchie speaks to the press during a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Anfrel Secretary General Rohana Hettiarachchie speaks to the press during a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh. Niem Chheng

Commune vote smooth but not perfect, says watchdog

Asian election monitor Anfrel yesterday commended authorities, citizens and political parties for Sunday’s smooth commune elections, but stopped short of calling the ballot “free and fair”, raising concerns over the heightened political rhetoric in the run-up to June 4.

At a press conference yesterday, the body said it had 15 election observers and 21 volunteer observers scattered across 13 provinces and 151 polling stations. The mission’s leader, Rohana Hettiarachchie, said turnout (89.5 percent, per the NEC), voter registration and ballot counting had been acceptable – despite needing improvements – but challenges remain ahead of the 2018 national elections.

He added that election officials’ training was lacking at certain polling stations, and also highlighted the need for a legal framework for campaign finance monitoring, and the importance of an independent NEC. “The more independent the NEC, the more credible the elections,” he said.

Deputy mission leader Ichai Supriadi said a smooth election did not mean a “free and fair” election, pointing to the threats by government and military officials in the lead-up to the vote.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European