Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Factories asked to give time for workers to vote

Factories asked to give time for workers to vote

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen greets supporters of the CPP on the last day of last year’s commune election campaign. TANG CHHIN Sothy/afp

Factories asked to give time for workers to vote

The National Election Committee (NEC) called on factories and other enterprises to allow workers to go to the polls and vote in the July 29 national elections, a move that left at least one expert wondering whether it was a push to boost voter turnout.

The letter dated June 8 said, “the NEC would like to appeal to all owners of enterprises, companies, factories, hotels, restaurants and institutions in Cambodia to allow workers to travel to vote on July 29, at the communes where they are registered”.

Representatives of two garment factories said on Monday they did not receive the letter as yet. But one said he had received a text from the NEC. They said they would abide by the order when the Labour Ministry issued an announcement.

Sor Bunthoeun, a representative of Cambo Handsome, a garment factory with more than 6,000 workers, said the owner might not follow the appeal.

“It is the owner of the factory who will decide. If there is no official letter from the Ministry of Labour, a prakas, or announcement, this would be hard,” Bunthoeun said. He added that he didn’t see such an announcement issued for the 2013 national elections nor last year’s commune elections.

Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached for comment.

Som Sorida, the NEC’s deputy secretary-general, told The Post that the NEC has not yet sent a request letter to the ministry.

He said the NEC will request that the Labour Ministry ask factories and businesses not to make work mandatory on July 29, a Sunday.

“This appeal is the same as what we did last year. The reason is that we don’t have a law that allows people to stop working to go to vote.

“But because it will be on Sunday, we appeal to the factories and enterprises not to make workers work that Sunday,” Sorida said.

He said during the 2013 elections, workers who needed to vote far from their workplaces were given two days off (a day before and after the election) to travel and return to work. However, he said that law has since been changed.

Yoeung Sotheara, an expert on the Kingdom’s election process, said on Monday that it is the duty of the NEC to urge people to vote.

However, he said this appeal could be a response to boycott calls.

“High voter turnout is good for the parties that compete in the election, especially the ruling one which is trying to find legitimacy.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release