All Major Parties Beat Registration Deadline

Both Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party waited until the final hours Thursday to submit their registration applications and candidate lists for upcoming elections.

A total of 39 of the 44 legal political parties submitted registration applications by the 5:30 pm deadline Thursday.

Those who missed the deadline are ineligible for the elections, scheduled for July 26.

Former finance minister Sam Rainsy’s party was the last to submit the application forms to the National Election Committee, with the papers arriving at 5 pm, only 30 minutes before the deadline.

Sam Rainsy had previously asked for the registration period to be extended, saying that voter registration must begin before candidate lists can be drawn up.

Funcinpec’s application and candidate list were brought in by steering committee member Hong Sun Huot at 4:10 pm. The Son Sann Party registered earlier in the day, while the CPP and Ieng Mouly’s Buddhist Liberal Party had their applications in earlier this week.

All of the major parties met the deadline for applications.

The NEC will approve or disapprove applications within 10 days. After that, parties have 10 more days to appeal disputed rulings to the Constitutional Council.

The appeal process lasts until June 12, when the official list of parties for the elections is to be published.

The registration process puts new pressure on the National Assembly to name the final three members of the Constitutional Council so that body will be functioning in time to receive appeals by May 27.

Both Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party, the two largest opposition parties, are fielding candidates for all 122 seats in the National Assembly.

Sam Rainsy himself, a former Funcinpec parliamentarian who was booted from the National Assembly after he was expelled from Prince Norodom Rana­riddh’s party, is standing for a seat in Kompong Cham, the home province of Second Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The second premier, who now represents Kompong Cham, is standing in Kandal province this year.

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