124 Candidates Vying for Top Posts in NEC

The National Election Committee (NEC) on Saturday wrapped up its 10-day call for applications for top administrative positions with 124 forms submitted, the agency said in a statement, with one secretary- general and four deputies set to be selected.

Prominent rights activist Ny Chakrya was among several other NGO staffers and directors who threw their hats into the ring for leadership positions at the NEC.

The body’s spokesman, Hang Puthea, said a timeline for the selection has not yet been set and that the applicants were primarily from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), political parties and universities.

“I have seen the current secretary-general and deputy secretary- general also have applied for the positions,” he said.

Tep Nytha, the current NEC secretary-general, confirmed that he reapplied for his position but declined to comment further.

“I am just a candidate and soon they would make selection and so I don’t want to comment anything about that,” said Mr. Nytha, who has been heavily criticized by the opposition for organizing past elections that they say were rigged in favor of the CPP.

Among the outside applicants is Mr. Chakrya, the embattled head of monitoring for rights group Adhoc. Mr. Chakrya is currently facing charges of defamation and attempting to coerce judicial officials, accusations that have drawn ire from international rights groups and supporters who say they are politically motivated.

Mr. Chakrya said he felt he had a decent chance of receiving one of the four deputy secretary-general positions, and estimated he would need about half a year to brush up on his election knowledge.

“My previous work is not purely involved in elections, but I have knowledge of some parts of the election like election law. So, I would need more time to understand much more about the election,” he said.

“I used to work a lot with Comfrel [Committee for Free and Fair Elections] and I have good knowledge of the election law,” he said. “It’s like an examination, so the hope is 50-50.”


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