The period for lodging official complaints with the National Election Committee (NEC) following the posting of the 2022 voter list and list of removed names is underway with a total of 53 complaints received to date through commune councils nationwide, according to NEC spokesman Som Sorida on January 20.

He affirmed that the NEC is addressing the complaints “step by step”.

The NEC confirmed in a statement that it had yet to receive any complaints this year, and that all had been made at the commune level in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Kampot, Pailin, Prey Veng, Pursat, Siem Reap, Takeo and Tbong Khmum.

The statement explained that the process of solving the complaints goes through three stages. The filing of a complaint must be made within 10 days of the date of the posting of the voter lists, which was January 13 this year, 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.

Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC) executive director Sam Sokuntheamy affirmed that his organisation was by and large unable to keep tabs on the posting of the preliminary voter list across the communes.

However, he said, ample time is allotted for everyone to identify any errors and inaccuracies on the voter list.

NEC data show that 9,710,645 people are on the preliminary voter list. A total of 271,142 people were removed from the voter lists because they had relocated, died, were repeat names on the list or were otherwise disenfranchised.