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A vendor conducts business at a Microfinance Institution in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

NEC tells MFIs to return IDs

The National Election Committee yesterday called on all microfinance institutions (MFIs) and credit operators to return national identity cards to their clients before the upcoming commune elections.

According to a statement, MFIs often keep the ID cards, which voters need at polling stations, when registering people for credit or insurance. Hang Puthea, NEC spokesman, estimated that MFIs have about 4 percent of all Cambodian identity cards in their possession.

The NEC also set its sights on social media. “These days, there is some information on . . . Facebook about national surveys . . . that make people confused about the results of surveys,” the statement reads. “If they continue to act like this, NEC will take legal action.”

Puthea clarified that the NEC would take legal action against anyone who violated this rule beginning seven days before the June 4 commune elections.

The Commune Election Law does not appear to prohibit pre-election opinion polls, though the National Assembly Election Law prohibits online polling in the week before election day.

Confronted with the seeming lack of basis for punishment, Puthea said “the NEC will take . . . another law to indict whoever breaks this statement”.

Soth Koemsoeun

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