A National Election Committee spokesman promised that preliminary results for Phnom Penh will be released today, 10 days after the elections.
Samraing Kamsan, spokesman for NEC Chairman Chheng Phon, blamed the delay on inexperienced staff during a Tuesday press conference.
“[The delay] is caused by mistakes of our election officials who are careless,” he said. He would not elaborate on who the careless officials were.
Kien Serey Phal, the city’s provincial election commission chairwoman, said she didn’t think the results were late considering the approximately 500,000 votes cast in the capital.
All ballots and related documents had been sent to the NEC by Monday morning, she said.
One delay, she said, had been caused by a recount at four polling stations that were situated in the same room, which made some voters put ballots in the wrong boxes. The recount, done under the eyes of international, local and party observers, lasted from Tuesday to Thursday last week.
From Thursday to Saturday morning, the numbers had to be verified because of some “adding mistakes,” she said. The calculations were completely finished by Saturday morning, she said.
But when asked why the results couldn’t have been sent across town then, she said more verification was needed, and that the office was closed Sunday.
Funcinpec campaign manager May Sam Oeun said the party was as worried about the Phnom Penh count as it was for all the provinces.
“We’ve been concerned from day one when NEC was supposed to release partial results and didn’t release them,” he said. “Yet, the CPP appears to have [numbers] from the whole of the country.”
Funcinpec has lodged a formal complaint about irregularities in Phnom Penh and 16 other provinces, he said.
A Sam Rainsy Party observer, Monh Siyonn, who has followed the count in Phnom Penh, said ballot bags arriving at the NEC lacked code numbers.
Each bag must have a code from the communal and provincial election commissions and the NEC, but some are lacking one or more of the codes. He was not sure how many bags would be affected.
The parties and the newly formed Election Results Control Commission agreed to recount Takhmau ballots before Phnom Penh, Monh Siyonn said. A Phnom Penh recount has not been scheduled, he added.
Samraing Kamsan said the only recounts he knew of were for communes in Kandal, Kompong Speu and Takeo provinces.