Opposition Party Widens Poll Complaint Collection to Provinces

The CNRP’s post-election complaint-gathering project expanded beyond Phnom Penh on Thursday as the party continued its own investigation into irregularities surrounding Sunday’s vote.

CNRP lawmakers say they have received in excess of 2,000 complaints in Phnom Penh since Wednesday, and have notified their nationwide network of activists to collect complaints before a final report is compiled on Monday.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said it was essential that the CNRP undertake the work in the absence of the National Election Com­mit­tee’s willingness to investigate election flaws independently or with help from international experts.

“Our activists at provincial, district and commune levels are all working hard to collect the statistics in all provinces which have more than three [National Assem­bly] seats,” he said.

“We may need to have a re-election and we have taken it upon ourselves to investigate because the NEC belongs to the CPP, so we can’t trust them. They are useless.”

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, CNRP provincial officials reported that 388 complaints were filed in Kandal prov­ince’s Khsach Kandal district; 80 complaints were reported in Siem Reap City; and 101 were submitted to the op­position in Kompong Cham City.

CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua said that the party would rely on its own communication structure, as well as Beehive Radio, Voice of America and the CNRP’s 95.3 FM, to disseminate the message to disenfranchised voters in remote areas.

“It worked during the election—we managed to greatly increase our presence in the National Assembly despite having no access to national media—so why wouldn’t it work now?” she said.

Ms. Sochua added that the CNRP did not expect to receive anywhere near the 1.25 million complaints that would correlate to the number of voters that the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia estimated had been left off the voter list in an April audit. “At the moment, the NEC’s result shows between 200,000 and 300,000 votes separating the CPP and CNRP, so even if we get that many complaints, it will make a great difference.”

“We will prepare the report when we receive all the information from the provinces, and if the NEC does not address our findings, we will take them somewhere higher.”

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