Redesign of NEC not under the jurisdiction of NEC

Making structural changes to the National Electoral Committee (NEC) is not within its purview, the NEC spokesman clarified yesterday. The senior official, however, said the NEC welcomes the overhaul proposals from five political parties.

“The request to change the membership of the NEC is outside our purview, but the NEC will certainly consider the proposals related to the electoral process for consideration,” NEC spokesperson Hang Puthea said yesterday.

Puthea added that the National Assembly (AN) is the authority responsible for reconstituting the NEC and the proposals of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP), the Kampucheaniyum Party (KP), the Cambodian Reform Party (CRP), the Candlelight Party (CP) and Khmer Voluntary Party (KWP). ) will be submitted to the NA for review.

He noted that if all requests from these political parties are not fully addressed, the NEC will review the legality of these. “If we see any proposals that fall within our remit, that will be taken into account to prepare for the National Assembly election in 2023,” he said.

Five political parties have jointly submitted a letter to the relevant authorities demanding an overhaul of the NEC before the upcoming national elections in 2023.

In their joint letter, the leaders of these five parties made suggestions for improving the electoral system, including an overhaul of the structure and functioning of the NEC, allowing for more political freedom and ending threats against political activists.

Yang Saing Koma, GDP founder, said the party was working with five other parties to make the NEC an independent body.

“We met several days ago to prepare a draft letter on this and submit it to the NEC and other relevant government agencies ahead of the 2023 national elections,” he said.

He said the petition will be submitted to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), the Ministry of Interior, the National Assembly, civil society organizations and the NEC.

Korn Savang, Advocacy Coordinator at the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel), said, “The NEC should review or modify certain conditions to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. We also reiterate our request to allow people outside of Cambodia to vote in the NA elections.

Thelma J. Longworth