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NEC to mull targeted extension of voter registration

People queue at a Phnom Penh office in September to be digitally enrolled on the electoral register.
People queue at a Phnom Penh office in September to be digitally enrolled on the electoral register. Hong Menea

NEC to mull targeted extension of voter registration

A spokesman for the National Election Committee says the body will consider a request by the Cambodia National Rescue Party to extend the voter registration deadline in certain communes.

During a meeting between opposition and election officials on Friday, the CNRP asked for three-day extensions for communes where less than 50 percent of residents have enrolled to vote but where more than 50 people were still registering per day, according to CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann.

Speaking after the meeting on Friday, NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said the body would consider the request after the deadline expires on Tuesday.

The CNRP also requested commune-by-commune registration statistics – which the NEC agreed to provide – and again asked for mobile registration stations to be set up near the border to help enroll the up to 1 million Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand.

The NEC has previously rejected the latter proposal, citing the Election Law, which requires voters to either register in their native commune or where they reside. On Friday, Puthea reiterated the NEC’s stance.

“From a legal perspective, it is impossible to create mobile registration units at the border. We can do it, but we have to amend the law first.”

Sovann, speaking yesterday, acknowledged that it may be “too late” to help migrant workers in Thailand, but called for changes to the law to ensure they were enfranchised in future elections.

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