The National Election Committee (NEC) drew lots to determine the order that the political parties standing in the upcoming parliamentary election will appear on the ballot papers. The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) drew the final number and will appear in the last of the 18 slots.

The lots were drawn by Venerable Bour Kry, the Great Supreme Patriarch of the Dhammayut order, and Venerable Tep Vong, the Great Supreme Patriarch of the Mahanikaya order, on May 29.

The first to tenth drawn were the Beehive Social Democratic Party, Khmer United Party, Khmer National United Party, Democracy Power Party, Farmer’s Party, Women’s Party for Women, Khmer Anti-Poverty Party and FUNCINPEC.

The final eight were the Dharmacracy Party, Grassroots Democratic Party, People’s Purpose Party, Khmer Economic Development Party, Khmer Conservative Party, Cambodian Youth Party, Cambodia Indigenous People’s Democracy Party and the CPP.

NEC chairman Prach Chan said the NEC will produce ballots for each of the 25 election centres that will be used in the 7th legislative election, scheduled for July 23.

Chan said the party draw was conducted with transparency,in the presence of the heads of the Kingdom’s Buddhist denominations.

“The results of the draw are very important to each of the parties that have fielded candidates for the election,” he said.

“Once the numbers have been assigned, it becomes easier for each of them to conduct their campaign, and also makes it simpler for voters to identify the party they wish to support,” he explained.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan echoed Chan’s comments, saying that the draw was conducted in a free and transparent manner by the Kingdom’s chief monks.

“The CPP received the number 18, the very last space on the ballot. This is good for us, as it makes it very easy for people to recognise our party and tick their support for us. During the previous election, we were lucky enough to get 20, also the last spot on the ballot,” he added.

FUNCINPEC spokesman Nhoeun Raden said on May 29 that his party had been given the number 9, which is generally considered an auspicious feng shui number by the Cambodian people.

He added that his party had accepted the results of the draw, as it had been conducted in a manner that was fair to each of the parties that have registered for the election.