Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC warns press on elections

NEC warns press on elections

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NEC officials hold a press conference on May 17. Pha Lina

NEC warns press on elections

The National Election Committee (NEC) has reminded media outlets to abide by the Code of Conduct for Media during the coming campaign season for July’s national elections, and called on reporters to remain professional, fair and transparent.

In a press release, the NEC has settled on May 29 to draw lots to determine the order of political parties on the ballot. The drawing of the lots will be held at the meeting hall at Building “S” of the Ministry of Interior complex at 8:30am.

The NEC press release said the Code of Conduct for Media contains requirements and prohibitions they must conform to.

The requirements are as follows:

• Journalist associations, journalist institutions or independent journalists who wish to cover news on the electoral process can apply for registration directly at the NEC. Alternatively, they may download the registration form from NEC’s website.

As of May 23, the NEC has issued press passes to 284 journalists from 35 media organisations – including 51 foreign journalists from 15 media outlets – to cover the elections.

• For national journalists, the registration deadline is 10 days prior to election day, while for international journalists the registration deadline is 5:30pm three days before election day.
• National and international journalists who wish to take pictures in voter registration stations and polling and ballot counting stations should notify the chief of the Voters Registration Task Force in advance.

The media is prohibited from the following activities:

• Broadcasting news that leads to confusion and loss of confidence in the election.
• Broadcasting news based on rumour or lack of evidence.
• Using provocative language that may cause disorder or violence.
• Publishing news that affects national security and political and social stablity.
• Expressing personal opinions or prejudice in reported events.
• Interfering or disrupting voter registration, polling and ballot-counting processes.
• Conducting interviews at voter registration stations, polling stations and ballot-counting stations.

On May 26, the NEC announced it had registered 20 political parties for the elections. Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan said it is proper for the NEC to draw lots for parties to be named on the ballot. He said it didn’t matter which number the CPP drew. '

“If your restaurant sells good food, it doesn’t matter if your store is located on a small road or in the forest,” he said,

Funcinpec spokesman Nheb Bun Chin said he was unaware of the procedure to draw lots for the ballot. However, he hoped to get a number at the top or bottom of the list.

“I want a number at the top of the list or the very bottom because citizens will find it easier to mark. But for older voters, it’s best to have an easier number for them to locate,” he said.

Sam Kuntheami, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said he didn’t support the NEC’s decision to restrict the media’s freedom during the election. He contends professional journalists will uphold their standards.

“Journalists have their own professional standards. Even if the NEC doesn’t release the code of conduct, they won’t break the law or cause instability. As far as we can see, journalists have not done anything that contradicts the NEC code. If you restrict broadcasting, citizens will stay in the dark,” Kuntheami said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • US, Cambodia pledge to strengthen military ties

    The US on Tuesday pledged to help train military officers, particularly Cambodia’s blue helmet troops deployed for UN’s peacekeeping operations. The pledge was made during a meeting between US ambassador Patrick Murphy and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief General Vong Pisen. Further

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Sokha lodges an appeal over treason case reaching court

    Kem Sokha, the president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has appealed against the decision to send his treason case to trial. Sokha’s legal team said their client was not satisfied with the decision of a Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea

  • King rescinds oknha honorific of 46 National Police officials

    The oknha titles of 46 National Police officials with the rank of general, as well as senior officials in the ministries of Interior and National Defence, will be withdrawn following a royal decree from King Norodom Sihamoni. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun told The Post