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Elections off to a smooth start, monitor says

A man casts his vote at a polling station earlier this morning in Phnom Penh.
A man casts his vote at a polling station earlier this morning in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Elections off to a smooth start, monitor says

Election day got off to a smooth start overall, according to a preliminary survey of polling stations released this morning by monitor Transparency International Cambodia.

The organisation deployed 1,051 non-partisan observers to a “representative sample” of 411 polling stations in all 25 provinces for today’s commune elections. Observers are also present at every polling station in Phnom Penh.

“As of 10am, nearly all observed polling stations opened on time, with all necessary and critical materials … thus TI Cambodia reports that the integrity of the set-up and opening processes has been maintained thus far,” the statement reads.

TIC reported that all of its observers were permitted entrance to the polling stations, 88 percent of which opened on time. Nearly all (95 percent) of the stations had present all six polling station committee members, who administer the vote, and observers found that in 99.8 percent of the polling stations the ballot boxes were empty and sealed before voting began.

In both the 2012 commune elections and 2013 national elections, accusations of irregularities at the polls shadowed the results.

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