01 August 2008
An imbalanced National Election Committee will not be able to fairly resolve issues stemming from Sunday’s polls, a senior researcher for the Asian Human Rights Commission warned this week.
The NEC should work neutrally for all parties, said researcher Lao Monghay (pictured), but a majority of its members are part of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
“The mechanism to solve the election dispute during or after the election should be separate from the election organizer,” he said. “Otherwise it can be wrong for the principle of justice.”
The NEC always reacted in favor of the ruling party, he said, as many members of government acted for the party instead of the public.
“Most of the government officials are members of the ruling party,” he said. “The more they work, the more they serve the ruling party. For example, parliamentarians are working to speak for the people in parliament but the parliamentarians are speaking to protect their own party. They don’t think so much about the people. They forget about the people’s concern. They work for only their party’s benefit.”
Four non-ruling parties who won seats in the National Assembly Sunday have protested the election results, and observers have said a number of irregularities marred the election.
But CPP officials have maintained this year’s election was an improvement over elections past.
“The election this year was so much better than the election last year,” CPP lawmaker Nhim Vanda said. “There was no violence, but there was fairness, justice, equality and transparency. There was no manipulating [the vote], as those political parties accused, because after the election finished, they counted the ballots at that electoral office. Even in the city or in the local level.”