NEC Plans Workshops Poll Results

The National Election Commit­tee will announce the final election results Saturday or Sunday, NEC Secretary-General Tep Nitha said Thursday.

The NEC has received 389 complaints about the election pro­cess from political parties and still has 27 more complaints that must be resolved, he said.

Meanwhile, officials announced that the NEC will supervise a series of workshops, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the July 27 elections.

The workshops, funded by the German Embassy, will give NGOs, donors and members of the government an opportunity to air their views on the electoral process, the embassy said in a statement.

“The [election’s] shortcomings need to be discussed in an open manner to improve elections in the future,” Frank Ruckert, Ger­man Embassy charge d’affaires said Thursday at a signing ceremony for the project’s funding. “These elections have been conducted in a much better way than five years ago and last year…but they are not perfect.”

The embassy and the UN Dev­e­lopment Program, which is coordinating funding, are satisfied that the NEC is neutral and impartial enough to supervise the workshops, Ruckert said.

The main workshop will take place in Phnom Penh. Members of the provincial election committees and the NEC, and representatives from government, civil society and donor groups will attend, the embassy statement said. Each province will hold a smaller workshop, conducted by provincial election committees, that will include commune election com­mit­tee members, it said.

The workshops will be held in October, Tep Nitha said. The Phnom Penh forum will last three days, and those in the rest of the country two days, he said.

Although the forums aim to improve democracy, they do not allow for complete transparency, officials concede. NGOs and UNDP representatives will be invited to only the final day of the Phnom Penh workshop, Tep Nitha said, and the general public won’t be allowed into any of the forums.

“NGOs represent the general public and civil society,” Ruckert said. “It’s not feasible to invite the whole village.”


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