Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Group seeks help for disabled voters

Group seeks help for disabled voters

People count ballot papers at a voting station in Prey Veng province during the national election in 2013.
People count ballot papers at a voting station in Prey Veng province during the national election in 2013. Vireak Mai

Group seeks help for disabled voters

In an effort to help facilitate greater access to voter registration for the Kingdom’s disabled persons, the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO) yesterday put forward suggestions to the National Election Committee to pave the way for possible changes ahead of the next election cycle.

At a workshop in Phnom Penh detailing the results of a four-month study conducted by the CDPO, executive director Ngin Saoroth said that while the NEC has helped disabled persons take part in the election process, many needs have yet to be filled.

Among the recommendations was the need to compile statistics for types of disabilities that may require assistance in the voter registration process, and that officials ensure certain disabled persons have access to identity cards.

“If the NEC has data on disabled persons, it could know how many disabled persons go to one station, how many wheelchair-bound [voters],” Saoroth said.

“This could help make sure that disabled people join the election [process] without any discrimination.”

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said that at this point, specifying disability types on voter lists was an impossibility as there are no laws governing the process and current voter lists are not designed to include such data.

Puthea added, however, that computer data on the number of disabled persons and their specific disabilities could be shared with voting station officials once the process becomes fully electronic.

Tests for the computerised system will be conducted at the end of September, he said, with registration commencing between March and May of 2016.

“The NEC never discriminates against disabled people, and it will put more effort into helping the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization’s recommendations get accepted,” he said.

Em Chanmakara, the secretary of the Disability Council at the Social Affairs Ministry, said yesterday that there are 500,000 Cambodians with developmental or physical disabilities as of this year.

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not