After multiple delays, the National Election Committee yesterday released its schedule for voter registration, giving itself three months to register the close to 9.6 million eligible voters across the country.
The nationwide registration process is set to begin on September 1, a little later than the mid-August date announced in early May, and end on November 29, with the final list scheduled to be released next February, a few months shy of the 2017 commune elections.
“We are confident of completing [the registration process], but even if delayed we have some time to finish it,” said NEC spokesman Hang Puthea.
According to Puthea, an initial list will be released in January, giving the body two months to clarify any errors or complaints, and also a small cushion if it doesn’t meet the November deadline for registration.
The process will use 2,500 computers and other equipment paid for by the European Union, with centres at every commune council office attempting to reach the more than 9 million eligible voters.
Koul Panha, head of election monitor Comfrel, said he was concerned that the monsoon could slow down the registration process, and also urged the NEC to increase voter awareness about the registration procedures.
“My concerns are with heavy rains and flooding, which can also affect the equipment,” he said. “But if there are none of these risks then it is a reasonable deadline.”