NUF Asks for Poll Changes to to Rainsy Party

The opposition National United Front has asked National Election Committee President Chheng Phon to take several new steps to “increase the fairness and credibility” of the July 26 elections.

First on the list was ensuring the neutrality of those who will be running the polling stations.

“The Commune Election Com­missions must be supervised to ensure that they do not select only CPP members,” the NUF said in a Friday letter. “Many village and commune chiefs now sit on the [polling station commissions]. This is the level at which fraud is most likely to be organized.”

The NUF—made up of Fun­cinpec, the Sam Rainsy Party, the Son Sann Party and the Cambo­dian Neutral Party—also asked the NEC to blitz voters with the message that their ballot will be secret.

“The NEC should ask the King to tape record his message about secrecy of the ballot, and it should be broadcast heavily on TV and radio, especially just before and on polling day. The text of the King’s appeal should be enlarged and posted on the front of all polling stations,” the NUF wrote.

Ballot secrecy has been a ma­jor issue in the campaign be­cause of voter intimidation. There also have been reports that village chiefs told voters the CPP can know how they voted.

The front also asked that the ballots from all polling stations in each commune be mixed together before counting. The rules now allow as few as three to be mixed together, which some say could allow authorities to figure out how a certain village voted.

Other steps requested by the NUF are that disabled people be helped to vote by a family member, not election officials; that observers be allowed to check the authenticity of the ink that marks people who have voted so they cannot vote twice; and that all mass transport of people be banned on polling day to prevent parties from manipulating voters.

An NEC spokesman contacted Monday said he did not know about the NUF letter but that the committee would consider it.





Related Stories

Latest News