Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC voter lists protest period expires with 36 total objections

NEC voter lists protest period expires with 36 total objections

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People check their names on the voter list posted in Phsar Doeum Thkov commune of Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district in October. Heng Chivoan

NEC voter lists protest period expires with 36 total objections

The period for lodging official complaints with the National Election Committee (NEC) following the posting of the 2021 voter list and list of removed names has now ended with a total of 36 complaints received through commune councils nationwide.

In a press release on January 14, the NEC said commune councils across the country had received a total of 36 complaints but so far the NEC and Constitutional Council have yet to receive any forwarded cases.

NEC deputy secretary-general Som Sorida told The Post that the posting of the lists lasted for 10 days from January 3-13.

Sorida said he considered the relatively low number of complaints a sign of the effectiveness of the voter registration teams and an indication of the close attention they paid to their work.

“The 36 complaints means that people have checked to see if their names are correct and thus it shows the effectiveness and ability of the voter registration teams,” he said, adding that of the 36 complaints, some were in the process of being resolved, some had already been withdrawn by the plaintiffs and some have been rejected.

Sam Sokuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), noted that the 36 complaints were a small number compared to the nearly 10 million registered voters.

“The number of complaints is a very small percentage out of the nearly 10 million voters because many people do not bother to check their names on the lists at commune halls. If more people checked their names then they’d find more mistakes and they would have more complaints,” he said.

He added that the reason people did not go to check the names was because they were less interested overall in the election and politics and because the NEC had not disseminated the information widely regarding the need to check the lists.

“I’ve talked to people who didn’t bother to check the registration list and they said that there was no point because they knew in advance who would win the election,” Sokuntheamy said.

NEC said the process of solving the complaints went through three stages. The filing of a complaint must be made within 10 days of the date of the posting of the voter lists and a decision on the complaints must be made within three days of the date when the complaint was received.

If there is no solution to be found at the commune level, the complaint must be forwarded to the NEC within five days of the decision from the commune council. The NEC will then make a decision about the complaint within five days of the date the complaint is received.

If no solution is found at the NEC, the complaint can be forwarded on to the Constitutional Council within five days of the NEC’s ruling. The Constitutional Council will then make a final ruling within 10 days of receiving the complaint.

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