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NEC requests voters prepare ID cards ahead of election day

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People lining up to vote at Wat Phnom High School in the capital’s Daun Penh district in 2018. Heng Chivoan

NEC requests voters prepare ID cards ahead of election day

As the commune council elections approach, the National Election Committee (NEC) has called on voters to prepare their ID Card or documents that were certified by authorities for use to be able to vote.

NEC chairmen Prach Chan announced in an instruction letter that the election will start at 7am on June 5 and continue until 3pm.

“NEC appeals to all voters to cast their ballot at their respective communes on the date and time set,” he said.

Chan said eligible voters whose ID cards have been lost, broken or modified, will be required to request a certified letter for use in the election by 5:30pm on June 3 from the election commission in the commune in which they will cast their vote.

NEC spokesman Som Sorida told The Post that the commission will be calling voters to remind them to have their documents ready to be able to vote, adding that the NEC’s appeal statement has been recorded and sent to all 25 election commissions across Cambodia for broadcast on local TV and radio stations.

The committee has also put up advertising banners across the Kingdom to remind the public of the date and time of the election, as well as the documents they need to bring along to election stations.

“Three days before election day, we will launch an announcement program through mobile loudspeakers to broadcast reminders to voters to be ready for the election,” he said.

Sar Kheng, vice-president of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), said on May 31 that his party has been projected to win between 8,000 to 9,500 of the more than 11,000 commune councillor seats across the country.

Speaking to a crowd in Battambang province’s Sangke district, he said: “Some people had based this result on previous figures to predict” the figure, he said, adding: “But this is just a prediction.”

Sar Kheng said election polls are permitted by law, but must be carried out by a professional institution in a transparent and neutral manner.

He caveated his claims, saying: “What I said is just information from researchers, and it should not be seen as true information. But if it is true, the CPP is still leading and it shows the reality that the CPP has fulfilled its mission for the sake of the nation since the beginning.”

Son Chhay, vice-president of the Candlelight Party, said his party is the second largest behind the CPP, with candidates fielded across the country. He said that through his observation, voters only elected “two or three” parties in previous elections and that Candlelight was one of the favourites.

Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) spokesman Loek Sothea considered Sar Kheng’s words on the prediction as “just political rhetoric” and manipulation of the voting public.

He predicted that political parties currently without a majority in the commune will win “up to 50 or 60 per cent” of the seats, having seen that people had “wished for change”.

“I make this prediction because through my outreach work, I saw many people openly express their wish for change,” he said. “But we don’t know which party they wish to vote for.”

NEC figures show that there are a total of 11,022 commune councillor seats across the 1,652 communes across the country.

Sorida declined to comment on the survey and prediction of the election outcome, saying that NEC’s role is “only to ensure that the election is free, fair, and just”.

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