Another Election Monitor’s Report Finds Irregularities With Vote

Transparency International Cambodia (TIC) said it could not vouch for the official outcome of July’s national election because of the large number of ballots cast by people without proper paperwork or forms in lieu of official identification, yet another independent report casting doubts on the ruling CPP’s victory.

In a report released Thursday, TIC compiled its findings from the 906 observers it stationed at 409 polling stations in 24 provinces for the July 28 election.

“Due to problematic pre-election conditions and voting process irregularities experienced, TIC cannot express with confidence that the outcome of the election reflects the will of the Cambodian people,” the report states.

Even before election day, TIC said, the National Election Committee (NEC) “actively obstructed” citizens from confirming their vote status by not letting political parties carry copies of the voter list, closing the online database to the public too soon and not posting the voter lists in villages before the poll.

At 60 percent of the more than 400 polling stations the organization had observers, TIC said some voters with proper identification could not find their names on the voter roll.

At a quarter of the polling stations, however, people were seen voting without proper IDs.

Transparency also said that the forms known as Identification Certificates for Election (ICEs), which were to be used by those lacking proper ID, were used at 93 percent of the stations it observed, and that ICEs were used to cast more than half the votes at an “alarming” 11 percent of polling stations.

In a separate election report TIC collaborated on with other NGOs and released last month, and again repeated in this latest report, TIC said that the more ICEs used at a polling station, the higher the share of votes that went to the CPP. ICEs are issued by commune councils, most of which are controlled by the CPP.

NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha called TIC’s claim that some voters with proper ID could not cast ballots at 60 percent of the polling stations it observed

an “exaggeration” and rejected the organization’s other findings as well, such as the suggestion that the NEC was politically

compromised.

“If the [TIC] evaluation of the election is done with technical methods, not political characteristics, it would be acceptable. But some organizations just evaluate politically,” he said of the latest damning report.

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