Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Election ranks low: study

Election ranks low: study

Women look for their names on an electoral roll during voter registration at a voting station in Kampong Cham last year
Women look for their names on an electoral roll during voter registration at a voting station in Kampong Cham last year. Heng Chivoan

Election ranks low: study

Cambodia's national election in July ranked 69th out of 73 elections held worldwide between mid-2012 and the end of 2013 for electoral integrity, an election research group based at the University of Sydney and Harvard University has found.

The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) collected assessments from 855 elections experts, 15 specifically on Cambodia, to inform their index of electoral integrity, which evaluated 11 stages of the electoral process.

Cambodia’s election ranked only above those in Belarus, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti and Equatorial Guinea.

Reflecting long-standing criticism of last year’s electoral process, the EIP found that Cambodia performed worst in voter registration, campaign finance – which includes the use of state resources in campaigning – and the independence of electoral authorities compared to other electoral stages.

But other electoral stages, such at the vote count, were not rated particularly badly. Partisan manipulation of voting district boundaries was rated better than in the United States.

National Election Committee secretary-general Tep Nytha yesterday suggested that the researchers had only asked experts who would provide negative views.

“Their findings depend on the information they get. If they take it from one side … they will evaluate the election negatively,” he said.

“I think if they study [the election] from both sides, they will have the right information about the election.”

A November report from an umbrella group known as the Election Reform Alliance, which has been rejected by the government as “manipulated”, identified similar issues.

EIP researcher Max Grömping said that monitors often provide contradictory election evaluations, as in Cambodia.

“Therefore, we decided to ask experts about their perceptions of the quality of the elections. Pooling expert knowledge is common practice when dealing with difficult and controversial issues where other sources . . . are lacking,” he said.

The EIP declined to name which experts had been consulted, but the National Democratic Institute and Transparency International Cambodia yesterday said they had not been approached.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHHAY CHANNYDA

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior