Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC to begin registering voters it missed for 2017




NEC to begin registering voters it missed for 2017

National Election Committee Chairman Sik Bun Hok speaks about an upcoming voter registration drive at a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.
National Election Committee Chairman Sik Bun Hok speaks about an upcoming voter registration drive at a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

NEC to begin registering voters it missed for 2017

The National Election Committee said it will aim to register around 1.4 million of the nearly 2 million eligible voters it was unable to get on voter rolls last year, though the body’s chairman, Sik Bun Hok, refused to address yesterday whether the process would be facilitated for migrant workers.

The electoral body will start adding new names – mostly migrant workers and others who missed out on the process last year – to the voter rolls from September 10 to November 9.

“If an individual does not have their name in the 2017 voter registry, the individual cannot vote in the 2018 national election,” Bun Hok said.

Earlier this month, the NEC chair deflected blame on the lack of options for migrant workers – who comprise around 1.5 million people and are spread largely across Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea – saying allowing for overseas registration required legislative changes. Yesterday, Bun Hok refused to comment on the issue at a press conference.

Of the 9.6 million eligible voters last year, 7.8 million were registered. The NEC estimates 1.4 million are eligible to register for the 2018 elections, with the rest either lacking ID cards, having moved to a new commune or having passed away.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party’s Son Chhay last week submitted legislation that he said could be added to the existing Law on the Election of Members of the National Assembly that would allow the setting up of registration or voting stations along the border with Thailand, and in embassies and consulates overseas.

National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long only said that the legislation had been forwarded to the Permanent Committee, who had yet to take a decision on its fate.

Moeun Tola, head of labour rights group Central, said the NEC and government had a constitutional obligation to ensure people were registered even if they lived overseas.

“Though we are not capable of achieving 100 percent [registration abroad], we still can choose some countries, such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, to do it,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,