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EU, Japan to provide election support

EU, Japan to provide election support

The European Union plans to spend about $11.3 million over three years to boost election reform in Cambodia, while Japanese experts will arrive in July to advise the National Election Committee (NEC), it was announced yesterday.

After meeting EU and Japanese delegations yesterday, NEC President Sik Bun Hok told reporters the European delegation’s draft 2016-2019 budget for election reform was about €10 million ($11.3 million).

Hok also revealed two groups of Japanese election advisers would arrive next month, primarily to assist the committee with its push to digitise and store voter lists, an effort that begins its test phase in October.

He added that NEC staff would be trained to “eliminate the election irregularities”.

“Our work is made easier thanks to both sides,” he said. “We will try to achieve our goal so that the commune and national elections are accepted by all parties.”

Hok said the NEC would work closely with the Japanese and EU delegations and was also seeking assistance from other NGOs.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea welcomed more details of the donors’ assistance, which he said would be divided into recommendations on election procedures, expert advice and technological support to digitise the voter list.

In a statement after the meeting, EU Ambassador Jean-François Cautain said a final decision on European funding for election reform would be made in October.

“The final design of the support will depend of the needs of the NEC and will be closely coordinated with Japan,” he said.

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