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NEC receives new voter registration computers

An official uses a camera to scan an identification card in the capital’s south during a trial of digital voter registration late last year.
An official uses a camera to scan an identification card in the capital’s south during a trial of digital voter registration late last year. Hong Menea

NEC receives new voter registration computers

The National Election Committee on Sunday received its first batch of 1,600 computers to be used for next month’s voter registration process, with the remaining 800 expected to arrive today.

Following long delays, NEC member and voter registration department chief Top Rithy said the committee was now aiming to load 150 to 200 computers a day with the voter registration software before dispatching them to the provinces.

“The government cooperated with the NEC and issued a letter to UNOPS [UN Office for Project Services], after which they cleared customs,” he added, referring to earlier reports that the consignment had been delayed following a customs holdup.

UNOPS spokesman Cillian Domhnall O’Cathail confirmed that the remaining 800 computers will arrive today, adding that the delay was not expected to disrupt the voter registration timeline.

UNOPS was tasked by the EU, a key donor for the project, to procure computers that will be used in the three-month-long effort to register Cambodia’s 9.6 million eligible voters.

Meanwhile, the CNRP yesterday said it would request the NEC consider registering voters during the three-day Pchum Ben holidays in October, given that most migrant workers would be at home for the holiday.

“We already know that most migrant workers abroad will come back [during Pchum Ben], so we will suggest the NEC to work for two of those days,” CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said.

Koul Panha, head of election monitor Comfrel, said it would be difficult to get staff to work during a national holiday, but the NEC could rotate them over the three days to allow people to register.

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