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

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not