Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGO calls for NEC to assist disabled in voting process

NGO calls for NEC to assist disabled in voting process

During the 2014 commune elections, people queue at a voting station in Phnom Penh that offers limited access for people in wheelchairs.
During the 2014 commune elections, people queue at a voting station in Phnom Penh that offers limited access for people in wheelchairs. Heng Chivoan

NGO calls for NEC to assist disabled in voting process

An NGO working with disabled people yesterday called on the National Election Committee to identify people with disabilities on its records, to enable the body to provide them with aid during elections over the next two years.

Ngin Saorath, director of the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation, suggested that the NEC add a column to the voter registration list to mark disabled people.

“In every election, the NEC does not know how many disabled people will come to vote, so they can’t facilitate them,” Saorath said.

If polling officials were aware of voters’ disabilities, they could mitigate issues faced over previous elections, such as access to polling stations for people in wheelchairs, he added.

However, NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said it would be difficult to add an additional column to the voter list because of “technical constraints”.

“The servers NEC has installed for the new voter registration list could be burdened if they store more data than was planned,” Puthea added.

He said the Election Law did not stipulate differentiation of disabled persons on voter lists, but added that the suggestion was yet to be dismissed.

Koul Panha, head of election monitor Comfrel, said that, according to the law, people with disabilities were treated on par with those without disabilities, but this necessarily did not have to prevent the NEC from identifying disabled voters.

“It is very hard in Cambodia as there is no system to assist the disabled. They treat disabled people like any other person,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National