Credibility of Candidates, NGOs Unknown

The NGO Coordinating Com­mittee set up by the communal election law has a mandate that ranges from training election observers to coordinating the counting of the ballots.

But the same law bans the committee from using any of the money allocated for the National Election Committee. Now the  credibility of the candidates—and their ability to help raise money for the NGO Co­ordinating Com­mittee—is being questioned.

The NEC today will choose seven NGO Coordinating Com­mittee members and three alternates off a list of 11 candidates.

Kassie Neou, deputy chairman for the NEC, said that the candidates are not well known and may  not inspire much confidence in the donors being asked to pay for the February 2002 balloting.

He refused to judge the candidates. “I am a referee,” he said. “I can’t say who is capable. Let the public judge them.”

Sek Sophal, executive director of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, one of Cambodia’s three main independent election monitoring groups, said that the candidates and their NGOs have little or no experience in elections.

“I do not know the candidates well, except for one person on the list,” Sek Sophal said. “And their [NGOs] are small.”

Kassie Neou said that if the committee members be­longed to well-known NGOs, those organizations would be more likely to help fund the committee.

The list of eleven candidates includes:

• Ing Yuokkhorn, 55, advisor for Rural Society Development Association.

•Suon Vibol, 50, deputy director of Buddhist Association for Saving the Poor.

•Prak Vansen, 41, advisor for Cambodian Institute for Dev­elopment and Human Rights.

•Norng Bunheng, 31, acting director of Cambodian Children-Friendship Association.

•Yung Kim Eng, 30, director of Khmer Youth Association.

•Lei Lynirath, 30, administrative director of Khmer Youth Dev­elopment Organization.

•Nou Navuth, 29, assistant for Cambodian Institute for Human Rights.

•Iv Borin, 29, executive director of Cambodian Transparency Center.

•Seng Sokhom, 28, director of Volunteer Youth Association for Development.

•Men Rasmei, 28, deputy director of Association for Generosity.

•Sam Kamsan, 26, director of development for Association for the Rescue of the Poor Family.



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