Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Registration abroad floated

Registration abroad floated

Migrant workers wait at the Poipet border checkpoint in 2014 before crossing into Thailand.
Migrant workers wait at the Poipet border checkpoint in 2014 before crossing into Thailand. Hong Menea

Registration abroad floated

Moeun Tola, director of labour rights group Central, said yesterday his organisation planned to request the establishment of registration and voting stations in Thailand after meeting with migrant workers earlier this week.

He returned from a trip to Thailand on Wednesday saying he would petition the National Election Committee (NEC) on behalf of migrant workers.

Members from Central met with 1,000 workers during discussions on Sunday and Monday, said Tola, adding that the overwhelming majority had expressed a desire to vote. Despite this, he added, only 3 to 5 percent of the hundreds of thousands of workers in Thailand would likely be able to register.

Voters find it difficult to return to Cambodia to register, he explained, both because their employers in Thailand don’t want them to leave, and because they cannot afford the trip. “Seven hundred thousand workers leaving at once would make the Thai economy collapse,” Tola said.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea, however, poured water on the idea. “Voter registration must be organised in the commune,” Puthea said. “A Cambodian commune cannot be in Thailand.”

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party made a similar request in July, but it was denied on the grounds that voters must register in their home commune. As of August, however, that rule no longer stands.

Tola said he was concerned that the government had not expressed real commitment to the issue, pointing out that Myanmar’s government had set up registration and voter stations in Thailand.

“It depends on political will,” he said. “This is the best option if the government is really committed to not letting individuals lose their right to vote.”

Additional reporting by Niem Chheng

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.