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Request for raw voter data rejected by NEC

People wait in line to register to vote at an office Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang III commune in early September.
People wait in line to register to vote at an office Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang III commune in early September. Hong Menea

Request for raw voter data rejected by NEC

The National Election Committee has rejected a request by election watchdog Comfrel to release a copy of the new digital voter database for independent vetting, its spokesman Hang Puthea said yesterday.

Comfrel wanted the NEC to provide a copy of the database to take off-site and check for irregularities.

Puthea said that while the NEC could release scanned copies of the lists, it could not allow the soft data to be taken away from the committee for fear of manipulation. He said that the NEC would only allow Comfrel to access the database while visiting its headquarters inside the Interior Ministry.

“If they want to do any research, they can come to the NEC and we can research together,” Puthea said.

“The NEC has decided that we won’t allow the data to be taken outside.”

Comfrel director Koul Panha insisted such a move was necessary to ensure “full independence”.

He said his organisation would continue to push its demands, and would not say if he would send representatives to the NEC if the demands continued to be met with resistance. “This shows that the NEC is not fully transparent,” Panha said.

“They give us the PDF files, but they are hard to analyse. We can’t analyse the data in-depth.”

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