Only 30 per cent of the Kingdom’s more than nine million eligible voters have come to registration offices to confirm that their proper name is on the updated voter list for the 2013 national elections in July, a new report from the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia shows.
Those who haven’t checked their names, the report says, could face trouble come election day if there are any discrepancies in spelling or identity details.
The situation would echo that of the most recent commune elections, when a number of voters were turned away at the polls for lacking matching identification documents.
The report placed the onus for the low turnout on the arm of the Cambodian government that runs elections, the National Election Committee.
“Comfrel is concerned that the majority of eligible voters failed to monitor their names on the preliminary voter list… The National Election Committee should pay attention to strengthening further distribution of information voter leaflets,” advises the report.
Although there were problems with turnout, the report noted that there were few irregularities during the registration period, which lasted from September 1 to October 12.
Still, the group cautioned, the lack of transparency by NEC concerning the preliminary results of the list were troubling.
NEC Secretary General Tep Nytha told the Post yesterday that the general registration period was conducted smoothly at the commune level.
“But some irregularities occurred when individual political parties and people filed complaints to the commune levels,” Nytha said.
“NEC is resolving 34 complaints and will announce the official result of the updated voter list on December 31.”
He added that more than 930,000 new voters have already registered to vote in the upcoming 2013 National Assembly election, and that there are approximately 9.7 million eligible voters.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at firstname.lastname@example.org