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Voter registration trial praised in spite of setbacks

A man registers to vote at a Phnom Penh school earlier this year.
A man registers to vote at a Phnom Penh school earlier this year. Sreng Meng Srun

Voter registration trial praised in spite of setbacks

The Electoral Reform Alliance yesterday held a roundtable discussion to pore over the results of a two-week trial of a new voter registration system.

In November, the National Election Commission set out to register about 32,526 people using a new electronic kit.

Though they only managed to register 17,581 people and faced some technical difficulties, Koul Panha, executive director of Comfrel, yesterday praised the trial.

“Testing the system and fixing the negative issues will ensure a good quality voter list that covers at least 98 per cent of, and ensures the rights of, the voters,” said Panha.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said the lower-than-expected number of people registered during the trial was due to people going abroad for work and a clash with the working hours of many garment workers.

The NEC is working to prepare the voter lists ahead of the 2017 commune elections.

Panha said the biggest concern was whether the Ministry of Interior would be able to issue enough identity cards in time. The ministry plans to give out 10 million ahead of the ballot.

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