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BREAKING NEWS: NEC Grants Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Request to Cancel Trial Commune Elections

Phnom Penh: Cambodia’s National Election Committee has agreed to cancel a trial run of the Commune Elections scheduled for 20 June. Prime Minister Hun Sen had written to the NEC requesting the cancellation, saying now was not the time and that the country needed to focus on the Covid-19 community outbreak.

In a Facebook announcement on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he’d been surprised after receiving information that the NEC intended to hold a test run of the elections on 20 June. The Prime Minister said he’d been alerted by officials in Siem Reap who were worried about the possible impact of the trial elections on the country’s efforts to contain the 20 February Community Transmission Event.

The Prime Minister said: “Given the reality in Cambodia, Covid-19 is on the rise, with hundreds of people being infected every day and dying every day. There is no need for a pilot election at this time as we have to prioritize and mobilize all forces to fight Covid-19. This is not the time to mobilize people to study and vote. This time, even the National Election Committee has to join the fight against Covid-19."

The Prime Minister has issued an order to all provincial capital governors not to gather people to train for the elections with immediate effect.

Prime Minister Hun Sen says he was forced to issue the order to prevent the unnecessary gathering of people. He has also
apologized to the National Election Committee, saying he was left with no choice but to order provincial governors to halt the trial elections at all levels.

The Prime Minister concluded by saying that all the country’s governors must respect the independence of the National Election Committee, which also must understand the difficult work of the executive branch and authorities at all levels, as well as understand the plight of the people who are under the pressure of the pandemic, while the country works together to try and restore economic and social life.

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