PHNOM PENH - The Cambodian Center for Human Rights has issued a report outlining concerns for the the national parliamentary elections, scheduled for July.
The report, which adds to a growing number of concerned parties, points to the ruling party’s control of state institutions and resources, a lack of women representatives and a potential fall in voter turnout as perils for the upcoming polls.
The report also accuses the National Election Committee of bias to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, a charge the election body denies.
NEC Secretary-General Tep Nitha told VOA Khmer that the election body cannot be blamed for low participation among women, either. “We can only encourage political parties to add more women to the [candidate] list,” he said.
Ou Virak, head of the center, said the report shows a decrease in political participation that has dropped from about 90 percent in the past to 60 percent in the last election.
“It reflects the will of the population,” he said. “Meaning, they do not have confidence in the outcome of the elections, and it was not neutral.”
Ruling Cambodian People’s Party officials say they have followed the law in elections and campaigns, and will continue to do so as the country heads to the polls July 28, voting for local parliamentary representatives who then chose the prime minister.
“We are doing this based on the law,” Cheam Yiep, a CPP lawmaker, said.