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New ethics code approved by NEC

Sik Bun Hok chairs a meeting of the National Election Committee yesterday in Phnom Penh in which the code of conduct for electoral officers was reviewed. Photo supplied
Sik Bun Hok chairs a meeting of the National Election Committee yesterday in Phnom Penh in which the code of conduct for electoral officers was reviewed. Photo supplied

New ethics code approved by NEC

The National Election Committee yesterday approved a new code of ethics for electoral officers and plans to convene on Thursday to examine four more similar documents outlining roles and responsibilities for different election stakeholders, according to NEC spokesman Hang Puthea.

Puthea said the revised code – which stipulates, among other things, that election officials should remain impartial and professional – incorporated information about stricter penalties from the new Election Law, which was passed last year.

“The interesting difference is the punishment – previously the law only had 13 articles [dealing with penalties], now there are 27,” Puthea said.

The NEC will meet on Thursday to approve ethics codes for political parties, the press, police and armed forces, and observers. In a bid to prevent campaigning and voter intimidation by members of the security forces – which monitors say has been rife in past elections – Puthea said the body would distribute the code to them in booklet form.

Head of election monitor Comfrel Koul Panha applauded the effort, but said the blurry lines between state bodies and the ruling CPP was a much larger systemic problem.

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