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NEC invites observers, parties to monitor polls

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The National Election Committee (NEC) holds a press conference this week. Heng Chivoan

NEC invites observers, parties to monitor polls

The National Election Committee (NEC) announced on Thursday that it is inviting applications from political parties and local and international observers to monitor the third provincial, municipal, town and district council elections.

The NEC said political parties can register from February 25 to May 1 to take part in the mid-May polls, while their applications to monitor the elections and ballot counting will be accepted from February 26 to May 2.

Applications from local organisations wishing to act as observers must be received between February 1 and May 15, the NEC said, while international observers should apply from February 1 to May 22.

The NEC said the elections will be held throughout the Kingdom on Sunday, May 26.

NEC chairman Sik Bun Hok said the invitation of applications was to ensure a successful election process. He said once it was completed, observers must submit written reports to the election body.

“The NEC hopes that all political parties, associations, local and international NGOs, and the election committee at all levels, will collaborate well with each other to ensure the third provincial, municipal, town and district council elections in 2019 are successful,” he said.

Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan said these elections would be no different to previous polls, with his party placing two observers at each voting station to oversee the election process.

“We will wait and see how the election goes,” he said.

Khmer Will Party (KWP) president Kong Monika, the youngest son of Kong Korm, a former senior adviser to the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), said his party would participate in the election to increase awareness of the KWP as it was only founded last year.

“By participating in these upcoming council elections, we want more people to know about the Khmer Will Party. We are organising our full party structure. We expect to achieve some results if there are former CNRP members who joined the CPP but still have a place in their hearts to vote for us,” he said.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said: “Regardless of whether it is a general or [local] election, the registration procedure is the same."

“We will have a permanent security presence to safeguard the election process, under the inter-ministerial control of the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Interior and the NEC. We have a responsibility to provide safety for the event.”

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