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 slams HRW ‘double standards’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has chided Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia director Brad Adams for keeping quiet over protest crackdowns in the US following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Addressing reporters while inspecting infrastructure development in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday,

  • Bank robber of $6M asks to be released

    An accused bank robber who admitted to stealing $6 million has asked the Supreme Court to release him temporarily because he had returned the money. In a court hearing on Tuesday Chan Simuntha, 39, told the judge that on January 18, his wife Teang Vathanaknearyroth told him that

  • WHO: Antibiotics cause more deaths

    Increased antibiotics use in combating the Covid-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a “worrying number” of bacterial infections were becoming

  • Four more Cambodian peacekeepers get Covid-19 in Mali

    Four more Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeepers in Mali have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of infected Cambodian UN peacekeepers to 10. National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces and Explosive Remnants of War deputy director-general and spokeswoman Kosal Malinda told The Post on Tuesday

  • Huge tracks of undocumented land a concern for registration officials

    Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Ly Samrith expressed concern that land registration plans for residents scheduled to be completed by late 2021 could not be achieved because 80 per cent of the land had not been registered. Land dispute issues are a major factor that poses a

  • Seniority payments postponed

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training announced on Monday the postponement of seniority payments for workers prior to 2019 and new seniority payments for workers in 2020, opting to implement them next year instead. The ministry also asked more than 25,000 workers in the garment and tourism