NEC poised for Senate polls

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Votes in Sunday’s Senate election will be cast by members of parliament and commune councillors. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The National Election Committee announced yesterday that the upcoming Senate election would be carried out at 33 polling stations in eight regions across the country on Sunday.

The NEC added that the February 25 election would be held from 7am to 3pm, unless all eligible voters cast their votes early, in which case the polls would be closed before the 3pm deadline.

“Voters are not allowed to enter the polling stations after 3pm,” an NEC statement released yesterday said. “Only eligible voters already within the polling station area will be allowed to vote after 3pm.”

The election of Senate members is non-universal, with votes cast only by members of parliament and commune councillors. According to the NEC, 11,695 officials are eligible to vote.

The NEC has allowed 12 associations and NGOs, with a total of 276 observers, to oversee the electoral process.

Heng Vanda, chairman of the Higher Education Association, said he has assigned 43 agents to oversee the electoral process.

“I think this election will go smoothly because the NEC has worked hard and has a clear action plan,” he said. “There are no signs of political instability or insecurity. So, the election will run smoothly.”

The NEC also issued a reminder yesterday that all provincial election committees must ensure a neutral atmosphere on voting day, meaning that no campaigning should be allowed the day before or on election day.

“All voters must also refrain from wearing party logos on their clothing when going to polling stations,” the NEC added.

Four political parties are standing in the election, including the ruling CPP, the Cambodian Youth Party, the Khmer National United Party and Funcinpec.

There are 58 seats in the Senate divided into eight regions.

The NEC said earlier this week that three political parties standing for next week’s Senate election had done very little campaigning, while NGOs said it was a consequence of the main opposition party being dissolved.

Senate seats up for grabs: Smooth poll expected
for Sunday’s vote.

According to an NEC press release, the three parties that had done very little campaigning were the CYP, the KNUP and Funcinpec. Only the CPP had been campaigning at their head offices throughout the country, it said.

Sotheara Yoeurng, legal and monitoring officer at the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said the three parties were barely campaigning because the CNRP, which won the second-highest number of seats in the 2017 commune elections, was dissolved last year.

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