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NEC Decides to Remove Candlelight Party Candidates in One Phnom Penh District

PHNOM PENH: The President of the Trial Chamber of the National Election Committee, Prach Chan, has announced the removal of Candlelight Party candidates registered to run for the upcoming fifth term Commune/District elections at Tuol Svay Prey I District. This removal comes after a complaint was received about the running Candlelight Party candidates in this district by a citizen named Mao Mony.

In the public hearing on Complaint/Case No. 051, dated 19 March 2022, at the NEC office on Tuesday morning, four decisions were announced, including the decision to reject and delete the list of Candlelight Party candidates registered to run in the Toul Svay Prey I district election. This also entails officially withdrawing and rejecting the registration applications (Form 1008) of these candidates from the Commune/District Election Commission in Toul Svay Prey I district.

The President of the Trail Chamber of the National Election Committee, Prach Chan, announced that this decision would be made public on Tuesday, 22 March, in front of the parties and their lawyers to permanently stop any protest.

According to the hearing, the decision to remove the list of candidates from the Candlelight Party from the Toul Svay Prey I district election was based on the grounds that the Candlelight Party did not properly follow the law on the Commune / District Council elections. The court deemed that four candidates from the Candlelight Party violated the law by not completing and signing the resume and declaration of approval to run for the Candlelight Party, when that is required by the law for all candidates.

The four candidates themselves also answered similarly to this verdict, saying that they had handed over their photos and ID cards to the Candlelight Party working group, but did not originally intend to run for the Party. They also did not write or stamp any official documentation, and it was representatives of the Candlelight Party who had just given them oral rights.

Pursuant to Article 39 of the Law on Commune / District Council Elections and Article 6.5 of the Regulation of the Commune / District Council Election Procedures for the Fifth Mandate 2022, it is stipulated that all persons wishing to stand as candidates for the election of Commune / District councilors must add their names to the list of political parties. Article 42 of the same law also states that a resume and official declaration must be filled out by each candidate.

In addition, based on Article 62 of the Law on Commune / District Council Elections, in the case that the NEC approves an objection made to the candidacy of a certain individual, or individuals under a political party, the NEC shall officially reject the candidacy or the list of candidates of a political party from partaking in the election, revoking and denying their candidate registrations.

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