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Group calls for oversees voting

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NEC spokesman Dim Sovannarom and Kang Savang, a monitor with Comfrel. Supplied

Group calls for oversees voting

The National Election Committee (NEC) met with the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel) to discuss the audit of the 2019 voter list.

While Comfrel presented evidence of name repetition on the voter list, it confirmed the list was almost 100 per cent accurate and requested that overseas voter registration offices be established.

A Friday NEC press release said Comfrel found the quality of the voter lists to be good and that 99.7 per cent of voters were present at the same location as the voter list, an indication of the quality of the list.

There were 44 incidents of name repetition. The NEC acknowledged the numbers to be true but said the repeated names were due to confusion caused by different types of ID cards.

NEC said there were also cases of twins with the same ID card number, but different types of ID cards, according to the release.

NEC spokesman Dim Sovannarom said on Sunday that despite those reports, Comfrel requested to create an overseas voter office. However, the NEC said it could not be done because there is no provision for it under Article 50 of the election law.

“The NEC shall delegate power to the commune and district councils to fulfil their representative roles in the examination of the voter registration lists,” Sovannarom said.

“According to Article 51 of the election law, to register to vote, people must appear at their commune office or anywhere in the commune where they are living as determined by the NEC.

“People who are not in Cambodia do not have commune and district councils,” he said.

Comfrel asked the NEC to talk to the National Assembly to amend the election law.

“In this regard, let me say that the NEC is a purely legal and technical institution and that it has the authority to report only to the National Assembly as stated in Article 10 of the Law on the Organisation and Functioning of the NEC,” Sovannarom said.

Kang Savang, a monitor with Comfrel, said on Sunday that the repetition of names on voter rolls could be caused by technical problems and the NEC should find new ways to avoid confusion on voter lists.

“What we do know is that the techniques and procedures are not a barrier to overseas polling stations if the NEC can verify names without the person present as long as they have proper documentation.

“The question is whether the law allows us to open overseas voter registration offices or not. Therefore, NEC must discuss with the National Assembly about reforming this voter law,” he said.

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