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NDI defends voter list findings

The National Democratic Institute has issued a point-by-point rebuttal of arguments made in recent weeks by the National Election Committee as part of the government body’s attempt to discredit the institute’s bombshell survey exposing flaws in the voter registration list.

Released in March, NDI’s Voter Registration Audit showed that there had been a dip in registration compared with the last national election, that names on the list had been deleted without cause, and that some voters who were registered appeared to not exist.

Though many of the points made in the statement released yesterday are similar to a previous statement in which NDI defended its findings, the nonprofit organisation reiterated that it cannot release the names of people involved in the study – a request made by the NEC.

It also pushed back against NEC claims that parts of the survey released in March conflicted with a recent report by the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia.

The NDI survey said that 10.8 per cent of people thought they were on the list and were not, while COMFREL quoted a figure of 13.5 per cent. NDI responded that the findings were essentially the same and within the margin of error.

Laura Thornton, NDI’s senior director in Cambodia, said in an email that it was important to “set the record straight and correct misinformation”.

Secretary general of the NEC Tep Nytha questioned the findings again, and said that the election would proceed with the current voters list.

“The important aim is to make sure the public is not confused about this issue,” he said.

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