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CNRP asks for voting abroad to be allowed

A Cambodian woman carrying her daughter votes in local elections in Phnom Penh on April 1, 2007. AFP
A Cambodian woman carrying her daughter votes in local elections in Phnom Penh on April 1, 2007. AFP

CNRP asks for voting abroad to be allowed

The Cambodia National Rescue Party has formally asked the National Election Committee to allow Cambodian nationals who work overseas to vote.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea yesterday confirmed he had received a letter making the request signed by CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay and seven others and dated July 5.

Puthea said the Election Law would have to be changed to allow overseas voting.

“The current law does not require the NEC to organise polling stations abroad,” he said. “The law stipulates that people go to register their names at polling stations in their communes. If we create [stations] at the consulate or embassy, it is not the commune that they are residing in.”

To allow for overseas voting, the National Assembly would need to amend the election laws, which were last updated – controversially – on March 15, 2015, by members of both the Cambodian People’s Party and CNRP.

“Members voted on the law already. This is just to confuse the public,” said government spokesman Phay Siphan. “They are working against their own bill.”

Hun Sen said in February that overseas voting would not be allowed. Koul Panha, executive director of election watchdog Comfrel, was unavailable for comment.

Additional reporting by Donna M Airoldi

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