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Party Frustrations Reflected in Complaints

Non-ruling party officials lodged a number of complaints across Cambodia Monday that reflected a variety of irregularities in Sunday's polls.

In at least five provinces, the complaints included voter intimidation, vote-buying and the omission of names from voting registries.

Parties had until 11:30 am Monday to file Election Day complaints.

Hang Puthea, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said that despite the complaints, the number of irregularities had declined from past elections.

The opposition Sam Rainsy Party filed three complaints to commune election officials in Kandal province Monday, claiming irregularities in Sunday's election.

The first complaint was made for Kohdach commune, Mul Kampul district, where village chiefs allegedly intimidated voters by claiming "those who have taken money from the CPP must vote CPP," said Chan Cheng, SRP lawmaker for Kandal province.

The opposition party filed two more complaints for Chey Thom and Ta Ek communes, Kasek Kandal district, where SRP observers saw CPP village chiefs providing a 1018 form to CPP supporters whose names were on the registry but who did not have identification to vote, Chan Cheng said.

The 1018 is a standard administrative form used to identify residents of villages who have lost their ID cards, but the National Election Committee has said they are not a valid form of identification for voting.

Officials from at least four different parties across five other provinces complained of similar irregularities, and in some cases they declared the vote count was invalid.

In Kampong Cham, Sam Rainsy, Norodom Ranardiddh, Human Rights and Funcinpec parties rejected the election results due to numerous regularities.

In Svay Rieng, the Sam Rainsy, Human Rights and Norodom Ranariddh parties refused to recognize the vote count, saying irregularities had marred the process. The Hang Dara Democratic Movement Party, meanwhile, endorsed the Svay Rieng result.

The Sam Rainsy and Norodom Ranariddh parties filed complaints with commune election committees over the omission of voter names in Kampot province, where the Norodom Ranariddh Party filed a complaint against a provincial election committee official who allowed supporters wearing CPP shirts to vote and the Sam Rainsy Party filed a complaint against irregularities in O'Chouk district.

In Pailin, a commune election committee denied receipt of complaints from the Sam Rainsy Party, saying party members had missed the deadline. Officials said they would file to provincial officials.