NEC: NGOs Gearing Up To Monitor July Elections

Election NGOs have registered more than 8,000 monitors to ob­serve the July parliamentary elections, the National Election Com­mittee said Tuesday.

An election monitoring group also said a pre-campaign audit of voter rolls is now halfway complete.

NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha said more than 8,400 monitors and 42 international observers from organizations such as the National Democratic Institute as well as from the US and Japan had already been registered and more applications are being received daily.

Mar Sophal, head of monitoring for the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said Tuesday that his organization planned to deploy 7,000 observers to all provinces and mu­nicipalities but could not monitor all polling stations.

“We cannot deploy them to all polling stations because we have li­mited funds,” he said, adding that Comfrel had deployed 9,000 ob­servers for last year’s commune elections, when many of this year’s observers gained experience.

Puthea Hang, director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free Elections in Cambodia, said Tuesday that a random audit of the voter rolls, which Nicfec is performing with Comfrel, NDI and the Center for Advanced Studies, is halfway complete.

The audit will check the completeness of randomly selected voter lists in 400 communes across the country to ascertain whether they are correct, Puthea Hang said.

“The audit is to evaluate the quality of the voter lists,” he said. “We cannot verify all the names but ones randomly selected by computer.”

Tep Nytha said the audit would not work to the benefit of any party in particular. “The NEC is cooperating by providing documents and has instructed commune councilors to cooperate,” he said.

Puthea Hang said Nicfec had registered 4,700 monitors and plans to begin training 200,000 commune councilors and village chiefs in how to act neutrally in applying election rules.

“The NEC has approved this but I’m seeking permission from the Ministry of Interior,” without which local officials will not agree to cooperate, he said.

 

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