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NEC appoints 35 new deputies to replace retirement-age officials

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The National Election Committee (NEC) appointed 35 new deputies to the Provincial Election Committee (PEC) from December 9-13 to replace retirement-age officials. NEC

NEC appoints 35 new deputies to replace retirement-age officials

In what is being heralded as a “remarkable transition”, the National Election Committee (NEC) appointed 35 new deputies to the Provincial Election Committee (PEC) from December 9-13 to replace retirement-age officials, an NEC announcement obtained by The Post on Tuesday said.

The deputies were appointed in Phnom Penh and 19 provinces. However, existing PEC deputies and directors in five provinces were allowed to keep their posts, said the announcement.

“The deputies and chiefs in five provinces are not going to be replaced because they have not reached retirement age.

“This is the first NEC transition [for deputies and chiefs]. [Many of] the officials who work for the NEC are contractual officers whose ages are not considered, so now we must organise and improve [the Committee] because the previous deputies and chiefs were too old,” NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said.

Newly appointed Battambang province PEC official Sok Hing told The Post: “I am delighted with the appointment because [the Committee] never changes like this … I will try my best to fulfil the work assigned by the NEC, especially concerning the management of elections in Battambang province.”

Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Election in Cambodia (NICFEC) executive director Sam Kuntheamy expressed hope that the “remarkable” transition would allow younger Cambodians to serve the democratic process.

“I don’t think that such a change will yield 100 per cent positive results immediately, but I hope the newly appointed officials [can] be better able to execute their duties compared to their predecessors.

“We [NICFEC] will monitor their work and hope they will act in [the service of] transparency, justice, and neutrality as per the laws,” he said.

The NEC announcement also urged the 35 newly appointed officials to respect their roles as they assume the task of monitoring election-related laws, the NEC internal regulations and code of conduct while strengthening solidarity and internal unity.

The announcement said the officials must highlight the transparency of the NEC through encouraging wide-scale participation and cooperation from political parties, relevant institutions and NGOs.

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