NEC To Begin Hearing Party Complaints

Twelve days before voters go to the polls, a National Election Com­mittee representative has said the NEC will hold its first hearing next week for campaign complaints filed by political parties.

NEC spokesman Leng Sochea said Tuesday that 10 cases are now on the NEC docket, including the five to be heard next week, with 86 back at the provincial election committees. A number was not available for cases in commune election committees.

Leng Sochea said that complaints must be registered with a commune committee within three days of the offense being committed. The commune committee must then rule on the case within three days or push it up to a prov­in­cial committee, within an additional three days, where that body will have another three days to consider the case.

If a provincial committee cannot resolve the matter satisfactorily within three days, an appeal can take a complaint all the way to the NEC at the Ministry of Interior in Phnom Penh.

But, Leng Sochea said, the NEC returns most cases to the provincial committees, who in turn pass them back down to the commune committees, “because we are here. Most [people at the commune level] are related. They know each other and the customs and culture of the people there.”

CPP spokesman Khieu Kanha­rith said Tuesday that the ruling party was so far pleased with the handling of its complaints, which he said had been minor disputes, not of a criminal nature.

“Other parties complain that their complaints are not solved and are not sent all the way [to the NEC], but it is a small case so it should be solved locally,” he said.

And indeed most parties, aside from the CPP, have voiced their displeasure.

“Two out of 10 of our complaints have been resolved,” said Hang Samrith, deputy secretary-general of the Hang Dara Democratic Movement Party. “It is useless to complain to the CECs, PECs and NEC, because they are puppets of the CPP.”

Leng Sochea denied NEC association with the CPP.


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