NEC to Accept Secretary-General Applications

The nearly year-old bipartisan National Election Committee (NEC) will later this week begin accepting applications for the position of secretary-general, its top administrative role, with the man currently in the job, Tep Nytha, saying on Sunday that he would be applying.

As part of last year’s July 22 political deal between the ruling CPP and the CNRP, a new NEC was created in April with a nine-member board composed of four selections from each party and a ninth “neutral” member agreed upon by both parties.

Yet the election body has since continued its work with Mr. Nytha as head of its administrative wing. The CPP apparatchik also headed the NEC during the 2013 national election, which the opposition has accused the ruling party of rigging.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea, who is the neutral member of the committee, said on Sunday that he believed a secretary-general and some new deputies would be chosen within weeks.

“All NEC members have agreed with one another that it’s time to recruit the secretary-general and some deputy secretaries-general, because previously we were busy with other things,” Mr. Puthea said, adding the process could be finished by early January.

Mr. Puthea said that any Cambodian citizen older than 30 who holds a bachelor’s degree and has past work experience in any field would be eligible to apply.

“If the current secretary-general applies for this position, it’s OK, because based on the law, he is eligible to apply, but the decision will be based on the nine members of the NEC,” he said.

Mr. Nytha said that he planned to submit an application. “Generally, if we have the opportunity to apply, we should apply,” he said.

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