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CNRP pegs 424 voter names as ‘suspicious’

An official registers a voter’s information and identity to a digital database earlier this month in Phnom Penh.
An official registers a voter’s information and identity to a digital database earlier this month in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

CNRP pegs 424 voter names as ‘suspicious’

The Cambodia National Rescue Party plans to ask the National Election Committee to investigate the citizenship status of more than 400 people who have recently logged their names in the new digital voter lists.

Speaking at CNRP HQ last week, senior lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said the party had noted the names of the “foreigners”, which he said were “mostly Vietnamese”, and would file a complaint once the NEC releases its preliminary voter list.

Reached yesterday, the party’s head of election monitoring Meng Sopheary said its monitors – posted to registration offices across the country – had identified 424 suspicious registrations by assessing names and registrants’ Khmer-language proficiency.

“Our agents noticed that those people speak little Khmer, some don’t speak Khmer and some names did not sound Khmer,” Sopheary said, though acknowledging such findings did not necessarily mean they were not citizens. “We just suspect and note down their names.”

The party has long drawn criticism for alleged race baiting to rouse popular support. Election Day in 2013 was marred by scenes of opposition supporters blocking voters they accused of being Vietnamese. However, the party denies charges of racism, saying it wants to ensure the law on citizenship is respected.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said the body would work with the Ministry of Interior to investigate any irregularities brought to its attention.

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