Registration for the July elections closed yesterday, with five parties registered and three more under consideration, National Election Committee officials announced yesterday.
Among the parties not yet officially accepted is the newly formed opposition group, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, which NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha and party officials said had made a mistake on the form.
“NEC gives them five days to correct . . . If they have not corrected within that period, meaning, if they have not taken the document to the [NEC] by then, they give up registration and the right to stand for election,” said Nytha, speaking at a press conference last night.
“If the correction is submitted, the NEC will have a look, and whether it is right or wrong will be decided in accordance with the law.”
Nytha declined to comment on what the mistakes were, but CNRP acting president Kem Sokha said they were minor errors and told the Post that the party will submit the document immediately.
“We don’t have big mistakes, just a problem with the letters. In two more days, we will finish it,” Sokha said.
Nytha also announced the presidents of each of the parties that applied. Chea Sim is once again listed as head of the Cambodian People’s Party, Sam Rainsy is head of the CNRP and Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey is Funcinpec president.
The final count echoes predictions offered by Nytha at the start of the 15-day registration period and reflects the sharp decline in the number of parties participating over the past decade.
While 23 parties ran in the 2003 elections, only 11 stood in 2008. Analysts have pointed to an election formula stacked heavily against small parties, coupled with a lack of media access as drivers behind the narrowing field.