The National Election Committee (NEC) provided a three-day training on “election, ballot counting and result declaration” on May 2-4 to officials of the municipal and provincial election commissions, representatives from political parties and NGOs.
NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha said during the training that in the lead-up to the commune council elections scheduled for June 5, the NEC had carried out its work in clear stages. It had already checked the validation of the 2021 voter list for use in this year’s elections, prepared the election calendar and plans and approved the rules and procedures for the elections. The NEC had also selected and appointed officials and drawn up the municipal and provincial election commissions.
He said they have now reached the second phase of preparation, which includes the training of all NEC officials and members of the election commissions, along with other relevant parties.
“After completing this training, I urge all new trainees to continue to study the laws, rules and procedures that are in place for the upcoming elections. They should make themselves intimately familiar with the joint guidelines from the Ministry of Interior and the NEC, as well as any other legal standards that must be adhered to. The more in-depth their knowledge of these details, the more they will be able to manage their respective purviews responsibly,” he added.
NEC spokesman Som Sorida said the majority of the trainees were members of the election commissions across the country. Managing the actual casting of votes, ballot counting and declaration of the results was the last stage of their training. The newly trained officials will in turn train members of the commissions in their districts.
“Once the election commune commissions are trained, we will train members of the polling station commissions about their rules and procedures. What is new this election is the use of computers, scanners and printers,” he said.
“They will send the election results into a management programme used by the commune election commissions. This programme will help the commune commissions to examine, verify and tally the votes more efficiently, as in the past we performed these functions by hand,” he added.
Sam Sokuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), said the training was nothing new, because in the lead-up to all elections, the NEC called civil organisations and relevant sides to receive knowledge of that year’s procedures.
“They train us so when we observe the process, we understand what the election team should be doing. That way, we know all about the procedures of packing and counting the ballots, for example. These procedures are effectively the same as previous elections,” he said.