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An official processes a person’s identification card at a voter registration office in Phnom Penh earlier this month.
An official processes a person’s identification card at a voter registration office in Phnom Penh earlier this month. Pha Lina

PM pushes voter registration amid claims of inaction

The National Election Committee (NEC) and all political parties should urge citizens – including those overseas – to register to vote, Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday, even as a prominent opposition lawmaker accused the government of offering “nothing” to enfranchise Cambodia’s thousands of migrant workers.

“Even if you are busy, please do not give up your right to register,” Hun Sen said. “On behalf of the government and me, all people who have not already registered have to register to vote, including our brothers and sisters who live overseas,” Hun Sen added.

But opposition MP Mu Sochua, who has been campaigning to register migrant workers in Thailand, said she’s received no help from the government or Thai authorities. “I sent letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the Thai ambassador explaining what needs to happen to help people register,” Sochua said. “And I have received nothing from them.”

Sochua has travelled to Thailand twice to advocate for registration, and plans to meet Thai officials in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Hang Puthea, spokesman for the NEC, said his organisation “asked for money from the government to buy air tickets for workers there and asked companies to provide leave so workers can come back to Cambodia without a pay cut”.

“But it is a big [task] and the NEC can’t do it.”

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