Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGOs lay out plans for election

NGOs lay out plans for election

Comfrel head Koul Panha speaks at a press conference on the upcoming elections yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Comfrel head Koul Panha speaks at a press conference on the upcoming elections yesterday in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

NGOs lay out plans for election

A coalition of watchdogs and other civil society groups yesterday announced their intention to form a “situation room” for the 2017 commune elections in order to monitor the voting process for irregularities.

The Electoral Reform Alliance (ERA), made up of 30 local and international groups, created a similar headquarters for the 2013 national election.

Koul Panha, head of the elections watchdog Comfrel, said the coalition will observe the voting itself and will also monitor campaigning, the independence of the National Election Committee (NEC) and the heavily criticised recent amendments to the Law on Political Parties, among other factors. “Whether the election is fair cannot be determined only on the election day, but other factors have to be looked at as well,” he said.

On May 20, 300 observers will begin monitoring the local campaigns. On election day, on June 4, they will be joined by 14,500 short-term observers who will assist in overseeing vote counting and result declaration.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea yesterday said he welcomed independent observers.

“Their observations help to improve the election process. All the civil society organisations that apply get the right to observe the voting stations,” he said.

Moeun Tola, of coalition member NGO Central, said the group is concerned by the ruling party’s recent attacks on the opposition. “In terms of political power and support we only see two parties. If the CNRP is not allowed to contest the election it won’t be free and fair,” he said.

Tola cited the government’s threat to dissolve parties through the new political party law, as well as the recent rejection of the legality of Kem Sokha’s election as opposition president, as risks to the election’s integrity.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The