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NEC Defends Denial of Opposition Complaints

National Election Committee members testified before the Constitutional Council on Thursday, to defend the committee's denial of three complaints of opposition parties of election irregularities.

The committee submitted 30 legal documents to support its reject of complaints that voters were deleted from lists, that illegal forms were used for voter identification and that some voter names appeared twice on voter registries.

The Sam Rainsy party had complained of the name omissions and the use of form No. 1018. The Human Rights Party complained of double names being used on some voter lists. Both parties have contested the election results.

Thursday's proceeding will be followed testimonies from representatives of each party. The Council will then decide whether to conduct a full hearing surrounding the complaints.

"We raised the legal issues and reasoning to explain to the Constitutional Council of our denial of the complaints of irregularities by the political parties," Ke Rith, a legal representative of the NEC, said Thursday following Thursday's session.

The NEC told the Council its decisions had been lawful, he said.

"We have full legal documents and fair evidence to show the Constitutional Council to defend the NEC decision," Keo Phalla, chief of the legal department of the NEC, said. "All of the documents are very strong legally, because all the decisions by the NEC depend on legal principles, internal rules, and procedures. So we hope that the decision of the Constitutional Council ill also depend on the same legalities."

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy has said he has little faith the Council will rule in favor or his party, claiming the Council is biased toward the ruling Cambodian People's Party.