The National Election Committee (NEC) is preparing to recruit nearly 5,000 officials on short-term contracts to update and review voter lists ahead of next year’s national election.

NEC spokesman Som Sorida told The Post on August 22 that contracts will run from September 13 to October 7. Each commune will require a chairman, a computer operator and a commune clerk to be appointed by the NEC.

“We have 1,652 communes, and each needs three staff,” he said.

Sorida said the final inspections of the lists would last 50 days, from October 20 to December 8. The official validation would be made on February 21 next year, ahead of the July 23 election.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), told The Post on August 22 that his organisation was ready to deploy people to observe the voter list updates and inspections.

“We will not inspect the recruitment of the short-term NEC employees, as they will need training. We will observe the work they carry out,” he said.

Sorida said the NEC on August 22 decided to recruit an additional 527 short-term contracted officials to work in the 25 capital-provincial election secretariats in charge of voter lists and voter registration inspection.

In compliance with the law on parliamentary election, the NEC updates commune voter lists annually to ensure that they are completely accurate and up to date.