News / Asia

Cambodia Electoral Body Says No Possibility of Joint Investigation into Polls

Supporters of National Rescue Party gather to give their thumbprint as they complain that their names were not in the voting lists in July 28 election, July 31, 2013.
Supporters of National Rescue Party gather to give their thumbprint as they complain that their names were not in the voting lists in July 28 election, July 31, 2013.
Robert Carmichael
Cambodia’s National Election Committee - the body that oversees elections - says other groups cannot take part in its investigation of alleged irregularities in Sunday’s vote. The inquiry into a vote that both the ruling Cambodian People's Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party claim they won.
 
Earlier this week observers and election monitors applauded Prime Minister Hun Sen’s seemingly conciliatory statement that he supported a joint investigation by political parties and independent observers into claims of ballot fraud.
 
Hun Sen’s comments followed a bold claim by opposition leader Sam Rainsy that the ruling party lost Sunday’s election. Sam Rainsy insists that an independent investigation is needed into allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
            
The NEC, a supposedly independent body, is seen by many as beholden to the ruling party.
 
NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha said the law under which it operates simply does not permit others to be involved in its investigation other than as observers. “By the law [the] NEC only ask the question to the related parties, the related people, but we cannot invite the people or the political parties to join the group or the election officer to investigate questions,” he explained.
 
He said the NEC expects to work through the list of complaints in the coming days and should issue preliminary results by August 10.
 
The opposition calculates it won 63 seats in the 123-seat National Assembly, based on an assessment of polling station returns compiled by its party monitors.  But it has yet to provide any evidence of its claim, which runs counter to early results showing the opposition had won 55 seats to the ruling CPP’s 68 seats.
 
Some observers question whether the NEC is able to carry out a credible investigation, especially because it also oversaw voter registration rolls, which missed the names of an estimated one million genuine voters.
 
Kuol Panha, who heads the independent election monitoring organization Comfrel, says an investigation of the NEC by the NEC will lack credibility. And, he points out, both the ruling party and the opposition have agreed to a joint process - so a deal should be reachable.
 
“And many voters also complain to NEC [that] they lost their right to vote during the Election Day. So this is a big question of credibility of NEC - not only this time but even before they did not really work hard to implement the reforms,” said Panha.
 
At this stage the scale of any irregularities remains unclear. However, Koul Panha said the opposition has provided Comfrel with some polling station returns that differ from the NEC’s.
 
Koul Panha said it should be simple enough to set up a joint group to investigate such discrepancies, comparing the polling station returns held by the various parties and the NEC. “The election result verification I think [is] not difficult. Maybe we can open and check any difference, why [it is] different and we can verify the number,” he said.
 
Koul Panha said the NEC should be careful to ensure that its process is inclusive otherwise voters might be unhappy with its findings - worsening and already tense situation in Cambodia.
 
The opposition said that if the NEC cannot conduct an inclusive investigation, then a separate body that brings together the political parties, the United Nations and local monitoring groups should be formed instead.
 
Meanwhile, the opposition has also warned that it might boycott the National Assembly. That would mean no quorum to approve a new government, and would deadlock the formation of the executive.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid