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NEC to strengthen provincial cooperation

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times Share:
Riot police will be deployed on election day. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The National Election Committee has asked all its provincial committees to cooperate with authorities to ensure that the upcoming national election on July 29 goes smoothly.

NEC chairman Sik Bun Hok said in a statement issued last week that provincial committees should strengthen communication and cooperation with provincial authorities, especially the police, to provide security for the election.

“Strengthen cooperation, maintain security and public order for all the activities of agents and candidates of political parties, national and international election observers and the people who go to vote in the national election,” Mr Bun Hok wrote.

“Monitor the situation and ask for intervention from the authorities in case of disturbances, threats, or violence which may lead to obstruction of the election,” he said, adding that reports should regularly be sent to the NEC.

The government will deploy more than 19,000 security forces for the upcoming election campaign, while nearly 85,000 forces will provide security on polling day.

About 19,400 security forces will be deployed for the 21-day election campaign from July 7 to 27, while 84,583 forces will be on guard at polling stations nationwide on July 29, officials said.

Kirth Chantharith, deputy national police chief, said that trainers will be providing training to 80,000 forces, including Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, military police and more than 20,000 security guards that will be deployed in communes and districts.

“Our request is to make all the officials participating to protect the elections aware that the atmosphere of the election will be free, fair and without threats,” Gen Chantharith said.

Korn Savong, a coordinator with election watchdog Comfrel, said that deployment of forces to provide security at polling stations was vital to ensure voters’ safety.

“What I worry about is additional security guards placed to help maintain security who are not civil servants,” he said. “It could be seen as political influence, making the people afraid.”

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