The estimated 1.8 million eligible voters who did not register to vote during last year’s mass enrollment will from September be given their final chance to register before the July 2018 national election, with monitors yesterday urging migrant workers to return and enroll.
About 7.8 million of Cambodia’s estimated 9.6 million eligible voters registered during last year’s three-month enrollment period, and the National Election Committee (NEC) says it will this year open up enrollments again from September 1 to November 9.
Yoeurng Sotheara, monitoring officer at election group Comfrel, urged any Cambodians living abroad who did not register last year to return during the two months or else they will lose the opportunity to cast a ballot in July 2018.
“Those who have not registered in 2016, they have to come back [as] their names will not be in the system,” Sotheara said, explaining it would be their only chance to be put on the voter rolls before the national election.
The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party last year asked the NEC to allow migrant workers to register to vote from abroad, but the request was denied.
Sam Kuntheamy, director of election monitor Nicfec, estimated about 1.5 million Cambodian migrant workers above the voting age live in Thailand and South Korea alone, and that many failed to register last year.