A group of non-profits have banded together to push for the recruitment of thousands more election observers they say are necessary for the June 4 commune elections.
According to Koul Panha of election watchdog Comfrel, there are still insufficient observers to man the country’s 22,000 polling stations. “We have to have at least one observer per polling station, but there should be more,” he said, adding the NGOs aim to recruit at least 12,000 observers by early May.
“We are trying to encourage NGOs to recruit as much as they can,” Panha said. “A lot of people who were trained in [previous elections] have travelled outside of their village for work, so we are trying to track them down.”
Although observers volunteer their time, non-profits are in charge of training them, transporting them to the polls, and feeding them on Election Day, all of which depends on funding from international donors.
A video posted on Facebook yesterday morning showed Cambodian Independent Media Center representatives addressing a forum in Melbourne in a bid to raise funds to cover observer costs.