Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP mulling call for border polling stations

CNRP mulling call for border polling stations

Voters check for their names on a registered voters list at a polling station in Prey Veng province in 2013.
Voters check for their names on a registered voters list at a polling station in Prey Veng province in 2013. Vireak Mai

CNRP mulling call for border polling stations

The Cambodia National Rescue Party is considering officially requesting that the government set up polling stations along the Thai border to accommodate migrant workers during next year’s commune elections.

The opposition has called for greater opportunities for the hundreds of thousands of Cambodians living overseas to vote, and border-area polling stations could present an alternative to true absentee voting, which Prime Minister Hun Sen characterised as impossible in remarks in February. CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay said yesterday that the party will decide today whether it will send a letter to the government on the matter.

“There must be a plan for those citizens [in Thailand] to at least be able to come to the border and vote,” Chhay said. Chhay’s sentiments were echoed yesterday by Koul Panha, head of election monitor Comfrel. “We are concerned that a million migrant workers cannot register,” he said.

However, both government spokesman Phay Siphan and National Election Committee spokesman Hang Puthea questioned the practicality and legality of Chhay’s proposition.

“Where will we get the money from?” Siphan said. “Anything is a great idea. You want to bring people to the moon? Fine, it doesn’t mean people are able to be on the moon.”

Siphan added that the election law stipulating that voters register in their own locality “comes from the National Assembly”, which the opposition is currently boycotting.

“They need to have the courage to sit in the National Assembly and debate it,” Siphan said.

NEC spokesman Puthea shared Siphan’s logistical concerns and added that migrant workers have the option of returning home to register to vote between September 1 and November 29.

Additional reporting by Vong Sokheng and Jack Davies

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty