Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC delegation returns from France with offers of support

NEC delegation returns from France with offers of support

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
National Election Committee (NEC) secretary-general Tep Nytha speaks to the media upon his return from France, on March 19. Heng Chivoan

NEC delegation returns from France with offers of support

The National Election Committee (NEC) will consider requesting support from France as it prepares to administer the July national election, its senior official said, noting that the French counterparts want to see the poll take place in a manner acceptable to all parties and in accordance with the laws in force.

NEC chairman Prach Chan led a delegation of NEC members and senior officials from the Ministry of Interior on a March 13-19 visit to France. The visit aimed to exchange experience with French election officials, and gain more insight into the French model.

NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport upon his return that the electoral system in France is dissimilar to that of the Kingdom.

“France has been holding democratic elections since the 19th century, and has had a lot of time to streamline the process. They have also introduced a lot of modern technology,” he said.

He said the delegation had met with the French Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for running the elections. In Cambodia, the NEC – an independent body – conducts the work. The French ministry, he noted, is comprised of city, provincial and commune authorities, each of which works to run the different levels of the electoral process.

He added that they had also met with the state and constitutional councils, who are responsible for addressing electoral complaints. They also held discussions with the legislative institutions which administer electoral campaigns.

“We attended several meetings and as a result, gained a clearer understanding of the electoral process in France,” he said.

“We also briefed them on our system. They now have a very clear understanding of how we conduct our elections, and we have built a strong relationship with our French counterparts. We get along and understand one another very well,” he added.

He quoted the French side as saying that they want to see Cambodia hold a free and fair election, as defined in the Kingdom’s law, and had offered their assistance.

Nytha said the NEC chief thanked the French officials for their offer of support, and informed them about the commune council elections held on June 5 last year and contested by 17 political parties, nine of whom had won seats.

“[Chan] also invited his French counterparts to observe the upcoming July election. We will consider asking for their assistance, as the election is fast approaching,” he said.

According to a March 17 social media post by the French embassy in Phnom Penh, EU representatives from Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Slovakia had visited Kampong Thom province to learn about the electoral process.

The delegates met for talks with the representatives from the NEC, as well as from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), the Candlelight Party (CP) and FUNCINPEC to gain a clearer understanding of the forthcoming election.

Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL) observer Korn Savang said that in general, it is not a bad idea to exchange experiences with other countries.

“Examining what other countries are doing to strengthen their democratic principles is always a good idea. Studying their processes so that we can decide how we can integrate them into our own is a wise course of action,” he said.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former

  • After three deferrals, Capital Gains Tax to take effect Jan 1, 2024

    The General Department of Taxation (GDT) will implement the Capital Gains Tax starting January 1, 2024 to after being deferred three times as industrial players warn that the implementation might have some negative impact on the property market growth, which is down due to the economic downturn.