Campaigning starts for commune polls

On the road: Candlelight Party supporters riding their motorcycles and marching while campaigning in Phnom Penh. — AP

Political parties have begun a two-week campaign for the fifth commune elections, which will be held on June 5, a National Election Committee (NEC) official said.

Seventeen political parties are contesting in the upcoming polls, with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and opposition Candlelight Party being the major contestants.

The campaign, which started yesterday, will run until June 3, NEC member Em Sophat said.

“During the campaign, political party supporters can hold public rallies, march in parades, conduct door to door campaigns and distribute their parties’ promotional materials,” he added.

Sophat also called on all parties and supporters to abide by the rules, regulations and principles set out in the Law on the Election of Commune Council in order to ensure a safe and peaceful campaign.

The elections are to elect commune chiefs and councillors for the country’s 1,652 communes, the NEC said, adding that about 9.2 million eligible voters or 87.9% of the total population of 18 years and above are expected to cast their ballots.

Held once every five years, the commune elections are seen as a bellwether of the party’s support ahead of the general election in 2023.

In the last commune elections in June 2017, the ruling CPP won 1,156 communes. — Xinhua

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