Constitutional Council Rejects Most CNRP Election Complaints

The Constitutional Council of Cambodia has rejected complaints submitted by the CNRP of voter irregularities in 11 of 15 provinces and municipalities, the Council said Tuesday adding that the opposition had provided little evidence to support its claims of flawed voting on July 28.

Most of the CNRP’s complaints relating to the 10 provinces and Phnom Penh centered on problems that voters encountered that prevented them from casting their ballots and also included accusations that Viet­namese nationals were allowed to participate in the election.

The CNRP also alleged that representatives of their party monitoring the election were ousted from polling stations and that National Election Committee (NEC) staff members had counted ballot papers behind closed doors.

The Constitutional Council rejected the complaints citing a lack of evidence. “The plaintiffs did not provide any reasonable proof,” the Council said in a document posted to its website on Monday.

In Takeo province, the CNRP had alleged that the indelible ink used to identify voters who had already cast their ballots was removable and that there were missing names on the voters list.

In “Takeo province, the plaintiff claimed to have witnesses and enough evidence to ask for a vote verification,” the Council said in the document in regards to al­leged irregularities in Takeo.

“But the opposition CNRP while meeting [with Council members] just presented a number of photocopied documents that didn’t meet requirement for consideration,” the Council said.

The Council also said that complaints over names missing from voter lists were rejected out of hand as the voter list had “passed validity since late 2012.”

Election monitors said before the election that as many as 1.3 million voters risked being disenfranchised because they either did not appear or appeared incorrectly on the voter list.

Council spokesman Uth Chhorn declined to comment on the blanket rejection of the opposition party’s complaints.

CNRP lawmaker Kuoy Bunroeun said it was unsurprising that the Council had rejected their complaints, as the body was similar to the NEC in its workings.

“The Constitutional Council always follows the same pattern of the [NEC’s] conduct and it is proving to be an injustice to us,” Mr. Bunroeun said.

Analysts and the CNRP have said the NEC is not able to conduct an independent inquiry of alleged electoral fraud due to its close ties to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling CPP.

The Constitutional Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing today at NEC headquarters over the CNRP’s complaints regarding the temporary election results from Battambang province, and another hearing will be held Thursday regarding results from Siem Reap province.

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