Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC: $17 million for 2008 elections

NEC: $17 million for 2008 elections

NEC: $17 million for 2008 elections

The National Election Committee (NEC) has submitted a budget proposal to the government

estimating a cost of $17 million for running the national elections scheduled for

July 26, 2008. The NEC also announced on July 24 that the National Assembly seats,

up for grabs ahead of the fourth mandate, will remain at the current number of 123.

Tep Nytha, secretary-general of the NEC, told the Post on July 25 that the NEC will

issue instructions in August to the members of the country's Commune Councils to

update any population changes on their voter lists. The NEC estimated that 8 million

voters will turn out for the 2008 polls-roughly 60 percent of the Kingdom's population.

The process will be completed by December 30 this year and the NEC will publish the

voter information.

Earlier this year the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) won 98.2 percent of the

Commune Council positions and appointed 1,591 of the total 1,621 commune chiefs.

The lopsided tally drew opposition charges of political discrimination aimed at parties

competing with the CPP.

Koul Panha, executive director of Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia

(Comfrel) said that the local election monitoring NGOs are concerned that the voter

list campaign may violate some citizens' right to vote.

"We are concerned that members of the Commune Council will ignore their work

and also that people won't be keen to check the list," Panha said. "We

are also concerned the process would be biased towards the CPP."

Panha said that Comfrel will look closely into the process of an update of voter

list, but it was capable of monitoring only 10 percent of 1,621 communes. Hang Puthea,

Executive Director of Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Election

in Cambodia (NICFEC) said that the NICFEC has deployed 260 staff to monitor the process

within several provinces.

Sam Rainsy, president of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), told the Post on July 25 that

the CPP has organized a plan to maneuver the names of SRP supporters off the voter

lists.

But, CPP member Nytha said that according to the law Commune Councils must list all

people of voting age in their commune, as well as note all deaths and cases of relocation.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,