Phnom Penh (FN), May 16 - Cambodia Higher Education Association (CHEA) announced on Wednesday to send 2,000 of its members to participate in electoral observation to be held on July 29, 2018.

CHEA’s president Ly Chheng said that the association plans to spend $200,000 for the observation and that COMFREL is far smaller compared to CHEA.

CHEA’s announcements came after NECFEC and COMFREL announced not to join electoral observations.

National Election Committee (NEC)’s spokesman Dim Sovannarom told Fresh News on Wednesday that the absences of NECFEC and COMFREL as observers will not affect the upcoming election process.

According to Article 10 of Law on the Election of Members of the National Assembly, national and international organizations also have the rights to not participate in the election.

"We do not force them. It’s their rights. Other national and international observers are applying, and we have accepted 2,000 attendees in the upcoming election,” Sovannarom said.

NECFEC and COMFREL’s announcements came after Sam Rainsy urged citizens not to vote, not to participate in the election, nor recognize the results of the elections in July without the presence of former opposition party.

Committee for Free and Fair Election in Cambodia (COMFREL) is a coalition of 12 organizations promoting the democratization of Cambodia, focusing on the election process.

Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC) is a neutral and impartial grassroots network of advocates and volunteers supported by an alliance of seven non-governmental organizations that works on election education, monitoring and advocacy.

The National Assembly 6th mandate election will be held on July 29, 2018. So far, 20 parties have registered to race in the election. The NEC has officially recognized five parties and is reviewing the applications of the other 15.

The NEC expects more political parties to race in the July’s elections, as only 8 parties raced in National Assembly 5th mandate election in 2013.