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

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian