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European Commission stops election committee funding

Cheang Sokha 15:35 / Khmer Times Share:
Voters cast their ballots during the commune elections in June this year. KT/Mai Vireak

The European Commission announced on Tuesday the suspension of assistance to the National Election Committee (NEC) after the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

In a letter to NEC chairman Sik Bun Hok on Tuesday, the EU stated that the European Commission had decided to suspend assistance to the NEC, which had been provided through the United Nations Office for Project Services.

It said the decision to dissolve the CNRP on November 16 and the subsequent reallocation of its National Assembly and commune/Sangkat council seats to other parties denied the choice for those who voted for the party in the elections in 2013 and 2017.

“The dissolution of the CNRP also means that it will not be able to run in the National Assembly election in 2018,” read the statement.

“An election process from which the main opposition party has been arbitrarily excluded cannot be seen as legitimate. Under these circumstances, the European Union does not believe there is a possibility of a credible electoral process.”

Spokesman for the NEC Hang Puthea said the European Commission has funded some $6.7 million to the NEC for 2016 and 2017.

“Despite the suspension of this, the process of the election for 2018 will still go ahead,” Mr Puthea told Khmer Times. “We have a financial allocation from the national budget.”

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