In Prey Veng 15 political parties vie for 11 available seats in the National Assembly. The province has 1,827 polling stations to manage 66,1042 registered voters.
Vong Sophorn is the head of Prey Veng’s Provincial Election Commission (PEC).
He spoke with Khmer Times’ reporter Ven Rathavong about the preparations on the eve of Sunday’s (July 29) election and the situation in the province since campaigning began.
KT: Could you briefly describe the situation during the election campaign?
Mr Sophorn: The campaigning ran smoothly and ended without any serious problems. Only one complaint was filed. The League for Democracy Party (LDP) filed it against a person who disconnected the battery from their audio system, silencing. The speakers were silenced. In the end the LDP withdrew its complaint. During 21 days of election campaigning in Prey Veng, all parties respected the laws and regulations of National Election Committee.
KT: Has the PEC received criticism from anyone regarding hindrance of free, fair, and independent campaigning?
Mr Sophorn: Before campaign start, we invited all political parties in the province to a meeting to help them understand the electoral processes. We worked together with all parties to resolve problems. They often called to ask what they could or could not do. Our meetings and good communication made this campaign easier.
KT: Has the PEC prepared for Election Day?
Mr Sophorn: We have already sent all needed equipment to the polling stations, and they must confirm delivery. We worked with the locals to assure security and guard each polling station. We also instructed all political parties to remove signs or leaflets from the vicinity of polling stations. No parties may campaign on the eve of the election.
KT: The government issued a directive to ban alcohol from today (July 28) until Election Day (July 29). Must the pubs, KTVs, and restaurants in Prey Veng close?
Mr Sophorn: We noted that all KTVs and big restaurants give their staff time off for voting, so they close down for a while to obey the government’s directive.
KT: Do you have any comments or concerns about Election Day?
Mr Sophorn: Even though the situation is quiet, we must still be alert. We continue to follow up on all security issues. We anticipate no problems relocating polling stations or evacuating villagers if flooding makes it necessary.