Election Council Announces Senate Candidate List, Rules

The National Election Com­mittee (NEC) announced yesterday that the 114 candidates running in the Jan 29 Senate election can officially campaign from Jan 7 to Jan 27.

The third Senate mandate will cost about $550,000 and feature an equal number of candidates from the CPP and SRP, said NEC Sec­retary-General Tep Nytha following a conference in Phnom Penh discussing election rules.

“The Senate was created in 2003 by appointment, and the first Se­nate election was held in 2006. For the second Senate election, the government is scheduled to pay about $555,000,” he said.

He said commune councilors would be able to vote at 33 polling stations across the country.

NEC member Mean Sati said the duration of the campaign period would be 21 days.

“Candidates will be able to campaign from Jan 7 to Jan 27,” Mr. Sati said, adding that parties had between 6 am and 10 pm to canvass, but that loudspeakers could not be used between 12 pm and 2 pm.

In the last Senate election, which was held in January 2006, the CPP swept the board to take 45 senatorial seats out of 61.

Of the third mandate’s 61 available seats, four are set aside—two for senators to be elected by members of the National As­sem­bly, and two for senators nominated by King Norodom Sihamoni.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the SRP was aiming for 11 seats in the next mandate.

“Right now, we hold two Senate seats, but we are more than confident we can get 11 seats,” Mr. Sovann said.

He also accused CPP members of contacting at least 20 SRP commune councilors, trying to sway their votes with bribes.

“Now, CPP people are contacting voters and commune councilors, giving positions, mon­ey…but our party commune councilors are committed to vote and be loyal to the people,” he said.


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