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NEC complains of hotline abuse

Taing Vida / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The National Election Committee has asked the Interior Ministry to take legal action against phone users who call its hotline and use inappropriate language while slinging insults.

The NEC set up the free hotlines last month to provide basic details to voters about the national election this month.

The hotlines provide information on voter registration, polling places and correct times for casting votes.

Yesterday, NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha said the NEC filed a complaint with the ministry recently after a couple callers insulted the committee with inappropriate words.

He believed this was illegal behaviour with the intention of interfering in the election process.

“Using insulting words against the election is considered as disruption to the state’s work,” he said. “It’s clearly an illegal action. The committee has recorded the voices and phone numbers of those callers as evidence.”

Mr Nytha said the NEC had to protect the election and democracy. Legal action had to be taken in any case that violated NEC law, he said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the complaint had been received, and authorities would take action accordingly.

“The behaviour is state disruption,” he said. “Authorities will take action to identify the callers and legal officers will determine the charge afterwards.”

Also yesterday, the NEC said the Commune Election Commission had organised 79,781 political party agents, including 51,506 full-time agents, to observe the election.

It said of the 20 parties, six did not delegate agents for polling stations even though appointing agents to observe procedures at polling stations was the right of each party.

“The decision to delegate political agents at polling stations depends on each party’s capacity,” the NEC said. “Though without the presence of these six parties’ agents, the election is still under observation by other political party agents.”

Khmer Rise Party president Soksovann Vatanasabung said it did not delegate agents for polling stations because the party was new and had less experience in observing.

“I trust the NEC in processing the election, but not 100 percent,” he said. “There could be technical errors in the election.”

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