Funcinpec Asks Gov’t to Declare Election Void

Funcinpec continued its efforts to have the results of the July 27 election declared null and void on Monday in a letter to the Con­stitutional Council and other government bodies outlining the failings of the National Election Committee in overseeing the election process.

Citing dozens of election-related laws, Funcinpec Deputy Sec­retary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay outlined five broad areas in which the NEC had failed to follow procedures and regulations and up­hold the election code of conduct.

According to the Funcinpec document, the NEC failings were grounds for canceling the election, which has given a resounding victory to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP. “Funcinpec would like the Constitutional Council to offer justice to the people and Fun­cinpec and deny the NEC an­nouncement of the election result of July 27, 2003,” wrote Nhiek Bun Chhay in the letter, which was also sent to the Royal Palace, the Sen­ate and various organizations and groups.

On Friday, Funcinpec Sec­retary-General Prince Norodom Sirivudh signed and sent a 12-point list of complaints to the Constitutional Council outlining election complaints against the NEC. Opposition leader Sam Rain­sy submitted similar complaints to the Coun­cil on Sunday.

The Council has “examined the complaints” from both parties, Council member Son Soubert said Monday.

Nhiek Bun Chhay claimed that contrary to the NEC’s stated rules, CPP members distributed gifts, money and other materials to buy votes. In addition, district governors, commune chiefs and village chiefs had loitered at polling stations threatening voters, he said.

Three-fourths of all the complaints made by Funcinpec to commune election committees and provincial election committees were thrown out, Nhiek Bun Chhay added.

NEC spokesman Leng Sochea confirmed Monday that he had re­ceived the letter but was un­available to comment further.

(Additional reporting by Nhem Chea Bunly)


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