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

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,

  • No word on state of emergency

    The National Assembly (NA) said it will postpone all unnecessary meetings in line with guidance from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it did not say when or how it will debate the “state of emergency”

  • State of emergency draft law set for NA

    A draft law aiming to place the Kingdom in a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic is set for a debate at the National Assembly (NA) after going through the Council of Ministers’ Standing Committee meeting led by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday.

  • NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested the Senate to convene an extraordinary meeting to review the draft law that aims to put the Kingdom in a state of emergency after the bill reached the National Assembly (NA) on Friday. The draft law, which was approved

  • Tourists can now prolong their stay

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said tourists holding Visa T and arriving in the Kingdom after January 1 will be allowed to prolong their stay until they are able to return home. The decision comes as Cambodia and most countries take measures to

  • Hun Sen, ministers, officials donate salaries in virus fight

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior government officials have decided to donate their salaries to the National Committee for Combating Covid-19 in support of the ongoing battle against the coronavirus. Hun Sen announced in an April 1 letter that because the Covid-19 situation in Cambodia