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Sokha seeks registration allowances for migrants

People queue at a voter registration office to have their identity verified in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Svay Prey I commune last month.
People queue at a voter registration office to have their identity verified in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Svay Prey I commune last month. Hong Menea

Sokha seeks registration allowances for migrants

Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy president Kem Sokha has appealed to the National Election Committee to allow Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand to register near border checkpoints inside the Kingdom.

Under the Election Law, voters can either register in their native commune or in a commune for which they hold a residency certificate. But in a letter to NEC President Sik Bun Hok, Sokha urged the committee to waive the requirements for workers returning from Thailand and allow them to enrol near the border to “guarantee the rights of every Khmer citizen”.

He said that in the past week at least 600 returnees had been turned away at registration offices near border checkpoints in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces, because local commune chiefs would not provide them residency papers.

However, NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said such a request was contrary to the election law, though he said the body would “take it into account” for “next time”.

Since beginning on September 1, the NEC has registered about 61 percent of Cambodia’s 9.6 million eligible voters.

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