Chairman of the National Election Committee (NEC) Prach Chan has issued instruction regarding cooperation on security, safety and public order to ensure the 7th National Assembly Elections are conducted smoothly and without intimidation, threats or violence.

The letter dated May 10 and signed by Chan instructs the NEC’s Secretariat of Electoral Security, capital and provincial election commissions, as well as commune election commissions, to cooperate and consult with each other.

“Each commission must strengthen regular cooperation with capital and provincial administration unified commands during the election campaign, especially the security forces, to protect commune election commission offices, polling stations and ballot-counting offices.

“In addition, each commission must monitor the general security situation and exchange information. Intervention from the security forces, fire brigades or medical services must be requested immediately should there be any disturbances, intimidation or other illegal acts that may affect the election process.

“From now until the parliamentary election is finished, each commission must cooperate with the provincial board of governors of each province to hold physical or online meetings once a week or when necessary,” the letter says.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea on May 10 said the NEC – the institution that supervises the Kingdom’s national elections every five years – required cooperation from the competent authorities as it was an independent body without its own security apparatus.

“The NEC must ensure security, public order and the safety of voters, and as the NEC does not have a security force, we request cooperation from the authorities at all levels to ensure the election process is carried out smoothly,” he said.

Stung Treng Provincial Election Commission director Hang Kong said he had received the instruction from the NEC and was to meet with the provincial administration on May 16 to discuss preparations for ensuring security, safety and public order during the national polls.

“The Stung Treng Provincial Election Commission has cooperated well with the provincial security command in the past to run each election smoothly and successfully, and we hope future cooperation will be even better,” Hang Kong said.