Political parties will have 15 days, from April 24 to May 8, to register their candidates for this year’s national election, announced the National Election Committee (NEC).

“Parties may submit application forms during working hours from at any time during this period,” NEC said in its February 3 statement.

Application forms can be collected from the NEC headquarters or downloaded from www.nec.gov.kh. The forms must be signed by the leader of the party, the candidate is standing for, or someone who has been given the right to sign on his or her behalf, in writing. There are several documents that should accompany each application.

There are two ways to complete the registration process. The forms can be filled out by hand, or an account can be established online which will allow for the registration of multiple candidates.

Parties who wish to take advantage of the online service must apply for an account via the NEC. Applications open on March 1 and close on April 20.

Opening an account will require further documentation, including a copy of the party’s registration with the Ministry of Interior, and copies of the party’s full name, acronym and logo.

“We will close applications for online accounts on April 21,” said the NEC.

Funcinpec spokesman Nhoeun Raden said on February 5 that the party would follow the NEC’s instructions.

“We will field candidates in the capital and in all provinces, and have elected the candidates we believe will draw support for our party. We see no issues with the registration process,” he added.

Candlelight Party spokesman Kim Sour Phirith said on February 5 that they had received the NEC’s notice, and were holding discussions to ensure they could meet the deadline for registration.

“We will check the details of the notification to make certain that they correspond to the electoral law,” he added.

He said the party felt there was a need for neutral ballot observers, so it would train them and would deploy them wherever the NEC allowed.

When it comes to the application forms, and national and international observers at the coming election, NEC confirmed that all registered political parties have the right to send an observer and a reserve agent to watch the election and vote counting at the polling stations and vote-counting offices of each commune.

Applications for Cambodian observers will be accepted from April 1 until July 12, while international observers may apply between April 1 and July 19.