Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 7.6 million register for elections

7.6 million register for elections

7.6 million register for elections

The National Election Committee (NEC) announced preliminary voter registration results

on October 24 and said 7.6 million Cambodians are registered to participate in commune

council elections scheduled for April 1, 2007.

Tep Nytha, Secretary General of the NEC, said the final voter lists will be published

on December 31.

Nytha said the registration process had gone smoothly, but he said a shortfall of

about $3 million could jeopardize the commune election process.

However, he said that the government is committed to run the election according to

schedule.

"We have sent a message to donor countries via the UNDP and the government about

the budget shortfall," Nytha said.

He said the NEC had expected only 60,000 new enrolments, but 1.6 million new voters

had registered during the 24 day registration period.

"We regret that some people could not register because they were late and our

law limits the period for registration," he said. "And registration is

not an obligation, it is voluntary."

He said the NEC removed 34,000 people from the voter list as they had died or moved

residence.

Sam Rainsy, leader of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) told the Post on November

2 that more than 10,000 people had been unable to register because they lacked information

or received information too late.

He said that within many areas commune clerks and village chiefs obstructed further

registrations when they thought all the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) supporters

had already registered.

Koul Panha, executive director of local election monitoring NGO, the Committee for

Free and Fair Election in Cambodia (COMFREL) said the process of registration had

gone smoothly, but intimidation and political discrimination had happened in areas

where opposition parties had a strong following.

"It was difficult for people to register when they didn't have enough documents

and did not support the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP)," Panha said.

He said COMFREL is continuing to audit the voter list to ensure its quality and will

issue a statement this month.

He said thousands of people evicted from the center of Phnom Penh were unable to

register because they lacked documents.

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