Although Interest High, NEC Applications Sow Confusion

More than 100 people have expressed interest in taking positions with the National Election Committee (NEC) since applications were made available to the public five days ago, but complicated identity and background checks have prevented anyone from actually applying, the NEC’s spokesman said on Monday.

The election body was overhauled in April to fulfill a promise made by the CPP in last year’s political deal, which ended the CNRP’s boycott of the National Assembly. With the NEC’s nine members in place—four from each party and a ninth neutral member—the body is now working to form a new administration.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said 20 people had taken application forms to be the NEC’s secretary-general and 85 others obtained forms for the four deputy secretary-general spots.

“Those who came to take application forms…are from civil society organizations, political parties and also retired civil servants,” he said.

Mr. Puthea said that although more than 100 forms had been given out, as of Monday the NEC had no applicants.

“They are facing issues of being unable to get clarification from commune chiefs…to confirm they have names on voter lists and a code number,” he said. “Commune chiefs have no idea what sort of forms to fill in for them.”

He said the NEC was resolving the issue by asking the applicants to provide a signed and stamped letter confirming that their names exist in voter lists.

Another issue, Mr. Puthea said, is that applicants need to go through the lengthy process of obtaining certificates of a clean criminal record from the Ministry of Justice.

“To make things easier, we will also accept applications with an attached receipt issued by the Ministry of Justice to show that the applicants have submitted paperwork to the Ministry of Justice asking for criminal records,” he said.

Applicants are required to be at least 30 years old and hold a university degree. The deadline for applications is Sunday.

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