Official NEC Complaint Period Closes

A total of 125 complaints were filed with Commune Election Committees (CECs) nationwide in the week following the July 28 national election, the majority relating to campaigning on election day, the National Election Committee (NEC) said Monday ahead of the official complaint period closing tonight.

Ninety of the complaints were filed by the opposition CNRP, 15 by the ruling CPP, with the remainder filed by voters, election monitors, local officials and minor political parties, the NEC said in a statement.

“In the complaints, most of the accusations involved alleged campaigning on polling day, such as political party activists and local authorities wearing shirts with the logo of political parties and openly campaigning for parties,” NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha said.

“The second accusation in the complaints from polling day and afterwards is intimidation as local authorities, political party representatives went into or stood next to polling stations or near where voter lists were posted,” Mr. Nytha said.

According to the NEC statement, 25 complaints were al­ready dealt with at the commune level, 32 were rejected for being without basis, 29 remain unresolved and 30 were sent to Provincial Election Committees (PECs) for further review. The remaining nine complaints are still being considered.

During the 30 days of election campaigning, a total of 359 complaints were filed with CECs, of which 92 were sent to PECs and 36 of those were then forwarded to the NEC, said Mr. Nytha. Three additional campaign complaints were filed directly to the NEC, he said, adding that only “a few” complaints were yet to be settled at the national level.

The NEC’s announcement of election-day complaints comes in the midst of efforts by the CNRP and independent election monitors to identify and compile cases of voting irregularities, which they have claimed were widespread on election day.

The CNRP has set up provincial offices in order to receive complaints about the voting process independently, while The Situation Room, a group of civil society bodies that monitored the election, are also compiling reported irregularities across the country and plan to release a report on their findings this week.

Election monitors have asked the NEC to release voter lists from polling stations and information pertaining to the use of Identity Cards for Elections forms in seven provinces where irregularities are suspected to be widespread, but the NEC says it has not had time to consider that request.

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