Cambodia election committee invalidates almost half a million votes from national election

Cambodia’s National Election Committee (NEC) released the provisional results of the county’s general elections on Tuesday, which recorded over 440,000 spoiled ballots. The Cambodian People’s Party declared a landslide victory last week, winning 120 of the 125 seats of the National Assembly. The party FUNCINPEC won the remaining five seats. Of the other 16 contesting parties, only the Khmer National United Party got more than 100,000 votes, while more than half failed to breach the 50,000 mark.

According to Article 120 of the Law on the Election of Members of the National Assembly, the NEC can invalidate votes if the ballot paper is not official, if the choice is indeterminable, if the identity of the voter is discernible from the ballot, if it is damaged or if it does not have the secret seal. Of the total 8.21 million votes cast, 7.77 million were said to be valid, meaning 5.35 percent of the votes were declared invalid. According to the International IDEA’s voter turnout database, the global average rate of invalid votes is 3.80 percent. The NEC has announced a 72-hour window for lodging grievances related to the provisional results.

The general elections were mired in controversy, as opposition leaders were barred from contesting elections. Prior to the elections, campaigns were carried out urging voters to invalidate their vote and declare the election null and void as a form of protest against the disqualification of the opposition Candlelight Party.