NEC Rejects Complaint Chief’s Resignation

National Election Committee Chairman Chheng Phon has re­fused to accept NEC Vice Chair­man Kassie Neou’s resignation from the ad hoc committee in char­ge of investigating fraud complaints.

“I will not agree to sign this resignation,” Chheng Phon said Wed­nesday. “What is the point of his resigning right now? Every­thing we have done is almost over.”

The NEC vice chairman, who chaired the newly formed Elec­tion Results Control Commis­sion, quit the panel Tuesday in a row over who could order a re­count of contested communes.

He complained that his order Tuesday to bring five commune ballot bags for recounting was ignored and said his fellow NEC board members were “stalling” the investigation process.

Kassie Neou’s griping marked the first time an NEC board mem­ber confirmed long-ru­mored divisions within the body.

Im Suorsdei, the NEC secretary-general, said Tuesday that Kas­sie Neou was simply exhausted and over-irritable. He also said the vice chairman was sidestepping protocol by directly ordering a recount instead of putting the matter through the proper ad­ministrative channels.

He said the real problem was that the subcommittee had been without recounting procedures, which were drafted Tuesday. Un­der the new procedures, a legal subcommittee screens par­ty com­plaints and recommends wheth­er the results control commission take action or not.

Chheng Phon said Wednesday he also thinks Kassie Neou overreacted. “He got tired with work and so he feels a little angry,” he said, adding that he planned to meet the vice chairman to discuss the matter.

“I will try to persuade Kassie Neou to get him to continue his work,” he said. “Our work is al­most finished, so I will ask him to please be tolerant for a while.”

Im Suorsdei said later Wed­nesday that Kassie Neou had agreed to stay on the ad hoc commission. There was never talk of his leaving the NEC altogether.

“He just met with me. There is no problem,” Im Suorsdei said.

Kassie Neou himself was un­available for comment. He was not in his office and his mobile telephone was switched off for most of Wednesday.

 

 

 

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