Vote Tallies Blank in Battambang City Booths

The National Election Committee (NEC) on Wednesday publicly released official election documents from eight polling stations in Battambang City, revealing that forms essential to calculating results had been left blank at two booths on polling day.

The Constitutional Council of Cambodia (CCC), which has ordered the release of sealed documents from Kratie and Battambang provinces, on Wednesday instructed the NEC to open “safety package A” from 12 polling stations in Siem Reap province in order to compare raw data with figures that gave the CPP a victory in preliminary election results.

That data though, represented on form 1102 as a total number of votes for each political party, was conspicuously absent from two of the eight packages from Battambang City.

“[It’s] a technical error. The Constitutional Council will have this heard before [a court of] law,” Uth Chhorn, spokesman for the Constitutional Council, said.

Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said that the blank forms raised serious questions, and condemned the Council for failing to release the total number of spoiled votes Wednesday.

“The question has to be asked: What records were used to give results from those two stations, because the 1102 is the document needed to record primary election results,” Mr. Panha said, adding that it was now impossible to verify results from the two booths.

Mr. Panha that the opposition CNRP had explicitly requested that the Council make available the number of spoiled and workable votes, but to no avail.

“I found it very strange that the CCC declined to announce those numbers,” he said. “They said they had no time, but from my observation, they only spent about one minute for each polling station at the announcement.”

Kuoy Bunroeun, a CNRP lawmaker candidate, said the blank documents rendered results from those booths illegitimate and called for the Constitutional Council to continue ordering the release of documents from the disputed July 28 election.

(Additional reporting by Kuch Naren)

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