The National Assembly’s (NA) Permanent Committee approved two candidates for the position of National Election Committee (NEC) chairman. The new chairman should be announced this June.
NA President Heng Samrin on June 15 chaired a video conference of the NA’s Permanent Committee to approve the candidates and forwarded their names to the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to select one whose name will be returned to the committee.
NA spokesman Leng Peng Long told a press conference that the two had stepped forward for the position after the NA announced the selection of candidates from June 11-15.
“The two candidates – Prach Chan, currently chairman of the NA’s First Commission, and Kar Lean are qualified to be candidates,” he said without specifying the background of the latter.
“Therefore, the NA’s Permanent Committee decided to send the candidates’ names to the CPP, one of whom will be chosen to be the NEC chairman,” he added.
Peng Long told The Post that according to the law, the NA has three days to decide and elect a candidate, starting June 15.
“According to the law, three days are allowed, but the party can decide prior to the deadline. But it’s not more than three days. The NA will then submit the result to the plenary session for a vote of confidence,” he said.
He said that in this work, the NA will announce the decision concerning the new NEC chairman later this month.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the party had not yet made a decision and is waiting for the NA to send the candidates’ names.
Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia survey and advocacy coordinator Korn Savang said the new chairman must be neutral and ensure fairness for voters.
“Whether the NEC chairman is new or old, please look at the general independence and think about what are the principles that are useful for the electorate, and do not to think about the party’s policies, even if they are from that party. I hope that the new chairman will be independent,” he said.
Prach Chan declined to comment on his decision to run for office, while Kar Lean could not be reached for comment.
Former NEC chairman Sik Bun Hok’s resignation was approved by the NA’s Permanent Committee on June 4, citing poor health as the reason for his departure.