Three communes in Prey Veng province will return to the polls next Sunday to recast their ballots for commune council, according to By Ban, chief of the provincial election committee.
By Ban said he closed six polling stations on Feb 3 after the political parties were found to be listed incorrectly on 150 ballots. The communes did not have enough extra ballots on hand to replace all the flawed ones, By Ban said.
The three communes involved are Rak Chey commune, in Ba Phnom district, and Angkor Read commune and Bouk Boul commune in Preah Sdach district.
The total number of registered voters in the three communes is 2,114, but election officials aren’t sure how many of them will turn out to vote again. By Ban said voters were very sorry that they were unable to vote on Feb 3, and that many may have to work next Sunday.
He said he has asked commune chiefs to urge their people to vote, saying he is sorry he had to close the polling stations but he had no choice, because the National Election Committee can’t allow any irregularities.
Nhiek Bun Chhay, who headed the commune council election campaign for Funcinpec, said Sunday he is prepared to accept the results of the revote if there are no complaints.
Funcinpec representatives will observe the revote. “I hope that people will join the election,” Nhiek Bun Chhay said.
Chea Poch, the Sam Rainsy Party chief for Prey Veng province, was not so upbeat.
He said election officials had at first resisted the request for a revote, agreeing to it only after the Sam Rainsy Party complained.
He also questioned whether garment factory workers who traveled to Prey Veng for the election would be able to return to vote on Sunday. He also accused the CPP of vote-buying in the area.
European Union election observers for Prey Veng province declined to comment on the revote Sunday.