Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC fumbles voter deadline

NEC fumbles voter deadline

NEC fumbles voter deadline

The National Election Committee (NEC) is unlikely to meet its July 21 deadline for

commencing voter registration, raising fears among election monitoring organizations

that voter registration will be rushed and susceptible to errors and abuse.

With less than a month until its self-imposed deadline to begin registration, the

NEC has yet to start the process for making crucial appointments to the Registration

Station Commissions (RSC) or even place orders for the materials and equipment required.

"A rushed exercise will naturally have a greater margin of error," Panha

Koul of the election monitoring NGO Comfrel said.

Comfrel and Cambodia's other election monitoring organizations, Nicfec and Coffel,

had raised the issue with the NEC, which had blamed the problem on a delay in promised

donor funding, Panha said.

An estimated 800,000 new voters are expected to exercise their franchise for the

first time in the Feb 2002 commune elections, while hundreds of thousands of others

have migrated to different constituencies since the 1998 national elections. The

names of these migrants must be deleted from one electoral roll and re-registered

in another.

The NEC has to appoint 12,900 RSC officials - six in each of the Kingdom's 2,150

voter registration offices - to handle the registration process of 6.2 million eligible

voters. The NEC must also place import orders for equipment such as Polariod cameras,

kit boxes, and plastic pouches.

The NEC aknowledges it must immediately begin the process of hiring and training

RSC officers to properly prepare them.

NEC vice-president Kassie Neou said the delays were beyond the NEC's control.

"The registration materials like lamination pouches are imported from [the]

UK, for which we need to make 50% down payment while placing the order," Neou

said. "Without any funds, we can't go ahead with the huge process of selecting

12,900 [RSC officers who will] also need to be paid salaries once they are appointed."

Australia, Germany, and UNDP have made concrete pledges of financial support for

the commune elections, but their contributions are likely to be spent on voter education

programs.

While donors recognized the necessity of funding for the commune elections during

the June 11-13 CG meeting in Tokyo, the amount and date of disbursement has yet to

be specified.

Koul and Nicfec's Hang Puthea said the delay complicated their voter education programmes,

which were closely linked to the electoral calendar.

"A long delay in any one process ... could affect the entire [electoral] schedule],"

Puthea said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (