Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mounting election concern

Mounting election concern

Mounting election concern

110817_5a
National Election Committee President Im Suosdey speaks yesterday during a meeting at the NEC.

Concern mounted yesterday over the lack of funding available for the upcoming 2012 commune and district elections, as representatives from the government’s National Election Committee held a press conference to appeal for more backing. 

“Up until now, the Royal Government has yet to dispense any funds for the NEC, not even one hundred riel,” Committee chief Im Sousdei said during a speech in Phnom Penh.

“The NEC has budgeted US$23 million for the administration of the elections, which will be held on January 29 of next year,” he said, adding that the NEC was planning to open an additional 790 polling stations, bringing the total nationwide to 18,126.

Koul Panha, executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, yesterday echoed the NEC’s anxieties, calling an adequate budget “very important” for the process of voter registration.

“Money is required to guarantee the quality of the eligible voters list, to make sure there are no deletions or duplications,” he explained, adding that, “without enough time and money, the NEC will not be able to employ enough staff and the quality of elections cannot be assured”.

He suggested that private donors and international development organisations could ease the NEC’s financial woes, but cautioned that “without a concrete plan for improving and reforming the process of voter registration, no one will want to support them”.

He added that he was also appealing to the government to increase the NEC’s budget.  

During the press conference, Im Sousdei also took the opportunity to reiterate the NEC’s controversial June 23 decision to discontinue the use of 10-18 forms, which had allowed citizens without official government identification cards to vote in elections.  

“We are worried that this policy will take away people’s right to vote, so I’ve requested that the NEC push the Ministry of Interior to speed up the production of identification cards for all those eligible to vote,” Kouy Bunroeun, a lawmaker for the Sam Rainsy Party, said yesterday.   

According to NEC voter statistics released on Saturday, there are 8,894,219 eligible voters in the Kingdom, of which 4,636,727 are women.  Only 87 percent of the eligible population is registered to vote.  

A report also announced that 70, 828 names had been removed from the eligible voters list, either because the people had died, their names had been repeated, or they had been convicted of a felony.  

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak could not be reached for comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,