The National Election Committee (NEC) said that two days of the first election campaign to elect councils for five newly established towns and districts in Kandal, Kampong Speu and Kratie provinces had run smoothly, and were free from violence or intimidation.

The election campaign for the first district council election in the newly created electorates runs from March 31 to April 7, with elections scheduled for April 9. These elections are being contested by FUNCINPEC, the Candlelight Party and the Cambodian People’s Party.

An NEC press release said that during the campaign, the Cambodian People’s Party had played loudspeakers at its headquarters and in villages and gathered candidates, members and supporters to assemblies in Arey Ksat town (37 participants), Sampov Poun town (144 participants) and O’Svay Sen Chey district (123 participants).

The release added that the Candlelight Party had also broadcast messages, in addition to distributing leaflets. It also held rallies in Arey Ksat town (15 participants) and Sampov Poun town (15 participants).

FUNCINPEC spokesman Nhoeun Raden said on April 2 that they are one of three parties contesting the elections in the newly created administrative areas.

“We gathered a small number of supporters on the first day of the campaign in Prek Luong and Arey Ksat communes in Arey Ksat town of Kandal province,” he added.

“During this election campaign, as in all campaigns, FUNCINPEC will follow the procedures laid out in the law, and by the NEC. Nothing remarkable has happened during our campaign activities. The commune authorities have been entirely cooperative, creating a positive campaigning environment,” he concluded.

NEC deputy secretary-general Mok Dara said all political parties had the right to campaign, provided they and their candidates were registered.

“All parties have the chance to share their policies and proposed agendas to the public in order to try to win votes. They can use several methods to gain the attention of the public, including rallies, processions, door-to-door visits and media coverage,” he added.