Representatives from the United States and Japanese embassies and the European Union delegation met with the National Election Committee (NEC) yesterday about ongoing voter registration, with EU Ambassador George Edgar saying the current political tension was not addressed in detail during the meeting.
The registration drive has seen a tepid response, with less than one-fifth of eligible voters registered. The NEC has given multiple reasons for the slow results, ranging from extreme weather to migrant workers being unable to register, though NEC member Rong Chhun on Wednesday said the current political situation was also a factor.
NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said the body had requested additional funds from the US, Japan and EU to boost its registration awareness campaign in the provinces. However, he conceded that the body would likely only register 500,000 voters of the targeted 1.7 million.
“The NEC estimates that it can register 500,000 people for the upcoming registration because 1 million [people] who live abroad might not decide to return to register,” he said.
Edgar said political issues came up but that the NEC was not the right body to address the concerns. He said the electoral body’s position on migrant workers was already known.
“I mean, everyone is aware of the situation. It is well known there is no specific vision for migrant workers to register out of country,” he said.