The government announced on Friday that next year’s elections to select lawmakers for the National Assembly’s sixth mandate will be held on July 29.
The directive, issued on Friday, will give political parties, the National Election Committee and election observers a year to prepare for the elections that will pit the ruling Cambodian People’s Party against its main opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, after a closer-than-expected contest in 2013.
NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said the one-year head start will help the electoral body prepare, especially for the September to November voter registration drive – a crucial reform measure taken following the 2013 ballot.
“NEC must prepare to register people who reached the voting age, people who have changed residence, and for those who have passed away, they must be deleted [from the voter list],” Puthea said.
The elections follow the June 4 commune council ballot, which saw the CPP retain close to 70 percent of commune chief positions and the CNRP make significant progress to increase its tally to 489 communes.
Puthea added that it would keep an eye out for any violence in the run-up to the elections and deal with it according to the law. The month preceding the commune elections saw violent rhetoric from the ruling party and senior military officials – which was panned by election watchdogs.
CNRP lawmaker Kim Sour Phirith said the election date was reasonable and that the party’s preparations were underway.