PHNOM PENH, May 12, 2019, The Phnom Penh Post. Some 50,000 paper ballots will be issued for the 3rd Mandate Council Elections that will be held on May 26, said National Election Committee (NEC) spokesperson Hang Puthea, reported The Phnom Penh Post.
A total of 228 polling stations will open their doors for the upcoming municipal, provincial, town, district and commune council elections, with 11,572 commune and sangkat councillors from seven parties nationwide able to vote.
Puthea made the announcement on Thursday during an event at which the NEC demonstrated the process of ballot printing, held in the capital’s Boeung Kak I commune.
The event was held at a printing house appointed by the government to print the ballots and bind them into books.
The first phase of the work, Puthea said, is designing the paper ballots which “will be grouped into two colours”.
“The white ballots will be used for electing council members at the provincial level and the capital, while the yellow ones are intended for the town, district and commune levels,” he said.
After making the design, he continued, the printing house will add texts on the ballots.
“The third phase is assigning a number on each ballot. And finally, before binding them into books, we will mark the papers by punching holes in them until the word ‘NEC’ is visible,” Puthea said.
He said the ballots will be distributed to all polling stations across the country after Sunday. Each station is expected to receive them on May 25.
Kong Monika, the president of the Khmer Will Party (KWP) – which has placed candidates in 10 cities and provinces, said he was confident of the transparency of the ballots as all parties have “checked and verified them”.
However, the leader of the newly-established party projected that KWP would not win any seat as it did not have any councillor who is eligible to vote.
“I want to show that democracy still exists in Cambodia. It is not completely gone . . . that is why we participated in the election, to spread the message of Khmer Will Party and make it publicly known. We will certainly continue our participation in the next elections,” he said.
Sam Kuntheamy, the director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee For Free and Fair Elections, said nothing is new as to the process of ballot printing.
“With over 10,000 eligible voters, compare that to the number of ballots [50,000] that will be printed . . . we have nothing to worry about,” Kuntheamy said.