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

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The