Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sealed docs our call: council

Sealed docs our call: council

A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Kandal province
A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Kandal province. PHA LINA

Sealed docs our call: council

The Constitutional Council yesterday said it has the power to order the National Election Committee to open the sealed documents monitors say could prove election irregularities, but stopped short of saying it would actually do so.

Election monitors have called on the NEC to open documents inside its sealed “Safety Package A” – a collection of ballots and primary polling station count forms – in order to properly cross check them against official results.

But the NEC has refused to do so, saying counts prepared at higher levels are accurate enough and there has not been sufficient evidence to open the sealed documents. In a statement released yesterday, the council said it “can decide [to order] the NEC to open some Security Packages A to make a verification”.

On Saturday, the NEC wrapped its investigation into election irregularities, deeming complaints moot, while the higher body is continuing to investigate.

Of 42 complaints filed at the council, 15 are still being investigated, according to the statement. One has been accepted thus far and the rest dismissed.

Constitutional Council spokesman Uth Chhorn told the Post yesterday that if a complaint is deemed to warrant further investigation, a hearing will be held, and that if a serious irregularity is found, Safety Package A will be ordered opened.

“It can be opened and when it is opened, the NEC would invite media to have a look,” he said, adding that the investigation of the 15 remaining complaints would likely take 10 to 20 days.

NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha said the body would abide by any decision issued by the council and insisted the Safety Packages were being kept safe in response to a written request from opposition party president Sam Rainsy.

Rainsy said yesterday he considered the council’s announcement a major step forward.

“We applaud it,” he said. “It’s why there is no point organising [a mass demonstration] now. We want to see it move ahead. This is the first sign there could be a fair and transparent process.”

On Tuesday, the opposition and ruling parties met to discuss a possible joint committee to investigate irregularities. Though an initial meeting resulted in no consensus and the latest appeared to have made little progress, Rainsy said the party was increasingly hopeful a solution could be broached.

“We also count on a parallel mechanism … it is direct [discussion] with the CPP, even though it has not led to any concrete results,” he said. “When I talked with [Interior Minister] Sar Kheng a few days ago … I was told by Sar Kheng, this would be just the first step.”



  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman