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Millions more new ID cards required

The new Cambodian ID card. 4.6 million more cards need to be issued in advance of the 2018 election.
The new Cambodian ID card. 4.6 million more cards need to be issued in advance of the 2018 election. Hong Menea

Millions more new ID cards required

The General Department of Identification issued some 2.8 million identification cards between January and October as part of an effort to bring a new generation of cards to some 10.9 million Cambodians by 2017.

Khean Sokunthear, the department’s director general, said at a conference on Tuesday that 2,824,532 cards were issued in the first 10 months of the year.

The rollout of the new cards is in three phases: the first saw some 2.2 million cards issued, while the next two are still under way, according to Sokunthear.

“The number of people who have received the new identification cards increased to 397,640 per month for the last three months,” he said.

As of October, based on the statistics presented, some 6.4 million cards have been issued since the program began in June 2012, meaning some 4.6 million cards need to be issued in time for the 2018 national election, which will require the new generation of ID cards for voter registration.

The department’s deputy director general, Chan Kimseng, said that while the total cost of the rollout is still uncertain due to a high number of component budgets, he insisted the process is going well despite certain challenges.

“Lack of participation be-cause people have not clearly understood the benefits of the identification cards [and] migration problems” were obstacles, he said, as were a lack of internet coverage, repeated names and plastic layers peeling from the cards.

Kimseng said that technical capabilities for card-making and checking have been deployed to the provinces in order to fix these hiccups.

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