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NEC to release final results as complaint window closes

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National Election Committee official Hang Puthea speaks to the press on Monday at the the body’s headquarters. Pha Lina

NEC to release final results as complaint window closes

The National Election Committee (NEC) is set to announce the final results of the July 29 national elections on Wednesday as scheduled, said NEC deputy secretary-general Som Sorida.

However, two analysts expressed scepticism over the announcement, claiming that the political parties were aware that it would be pointless to lodge any complaint.

Sorida told The Post on Tuesday that the NEC hadn’t received any complaints during the 72-hour window after issuing preliminary results.

“As of 7am on August 14, the NEC has not received complaints regarding the preliminary result,” Sorida said, adding that complaints filed after the deadline would not be entertained.

He said only one political party – the Cambodian Youth Party (CYP), filed a complaint on August 13, But it was retracted the same day.

The official results, Sorida said, would be broadcast on national television and radio stations at 7pm on Wednesday. At that time, vote counts will be disclosed before announcing National Assembly seats and elected candidates.

CYP president Pich Sros said on Tuesday that despite the final results being delivered, his party will continue to investigate why its total went down by 84 votes since the initial results were announced.

“We need to find the truth. It does not depend upon accepting or not accepting complaints. It depends upon actual evidence, so even though we have official results, we will still call for a ballot recount,” Sros said.

The Khmer Economic Development Party (KEDP), led by Huon Reach Chamroeun, on Tuesday, announced that it had abandoned previous plans to demonstrate against the election results.

A KEDP statement said, however, that it still rejected the polls as “not fair and just”.

Its statement also points to criticisms of the election from the international community but urges world players to continue supporting the Kingdom with investments, aid and the purchase of agricultural produce.

“To prevent social issues, the KEDP will not protest now. Having protests against the election results now is no different from having protests to overthrow the ruling power. We are an opposition party following the constitution and putting the nation first,” its statement read.

Political analyst Hang Vitou speculated on why the parties declined to submit complaints.

“Regarding the announcement of the election results, it’s not strange for me that no party filed complaints . . . they don’t believe in filing complaints which produce no result. It’s impossible.

“Regardless, filing a complaint would not be effective in shifting the NEC’s decision or naming a new winner. Also, they believe the election did not reflect the will of the people,” he claimed.

Election expert Yoeurng Sotheara, said he does not entirely agree with the NEC’s claim about transparency.

“I don’t totally agree with the statement. Questions related to the universally accepted principles of free, fair and credible elections were denied in some particular aspects of the entire processes of the election, in the pre- and during the polls, for instances."

“Reactions like those coming from advanced countries over the election have not been seen in Cambodia since 1993,” he said.

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