Although there will be far fewer political parties competing in this year's national election, the National Election Committee (NEC) of Cambodia has announced that party representation over the electorates as a whole will be much greater this year, local media reported Friday.
Only 12 political parties have registered for this year's parliamentary election, while in the 2003 election there were 23, and in the 1998 election there were 39, the Mekong Times newspaper said, citing NEC officials.
The NEC said although the number of registered parties has decreased, 10 parties can field candidates to stand in all the electorates of Cambodia's 24 provinces and municipalities, while the rest will only be able to field candidates in seven to nine of the country's electorates.
NEC Secretary General Tep Nytha said that the reduced number of parties was due to the lack of confidence in the "50 percent plus one" formula and Cambodia's current social, political and financial situation.
Meanwhile, Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said political parties should not take the risk of offering candidates for all electorates.
Rather, he stressed, they should only spend their money on the electorates where they can win majority votes.