5 Parties Enroll Candidates To Run in Commune Races

Two days into the three-day pro­cess, as many as 70 percent of can­didates have been registered for Cambodia’s first-ever lo­cal elections, the National Elec­tion Com­mittee said Monday.

With 18 provinces reporting, five parties have submitted candidates for commune chiefs and coun­cils, NEC spokesman Leng Sochea said. He did not know the number of candidates.

According to a preliminary re­port, the CPP has submitted candidates in 744 communes, Fun­cin­pec in 613, the Sam Rainsy Par­ty in 494, Khmer Angkor in two and Khemarak Vongkut in two. Races will be held in 1,621 communes.

The status in six provinces—Kampong Cham, Battambang, Kampot, Ratanakkiri, Kep and Oddar Meanchey—was un­known because radio difficulties prevented the NEC from communicating with them, NEC official Prum Nhean Vichet said.

Registration went smoothly again Monday, Prum Nhean Vichet said. Eng Chhay Eang, Sam Rainsy Party secretary-general, said some small problems arose but have been solved. He said the par­ty will submit more than 20,000 can­di­dates in 1,480 communes. Co-Minister of In­terior You Hockry, who isn’t directly in­volved in the election process, said he heard that all candidates who registered so far have been accepted.

Although the violence and confusion about election rules that NEC critics feared appear not to have occurred, Eng Chhay Eang said his party won’t have a candidate in “more than 100” communes because of communication and security issues.

 

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