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Watchdog to prep election volunteers

An election official shows a ballot paper to monitors at a voting station at a high school in Phnom Penh during a commune election in 2014.
An election official shows a ballot paper to monitors at a voting station at a high school in Phnom Penh during a commune election in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Watchdog to prep election volunteers

Election watchdog Comfrel yesterday announced that civil society groups will deploy a total of 1,633 observers to monitor voter registration and commune elections in 2017.

Koul Panha, Comfrel’s executive director, said 600 observers are already prepared and NGOs will train more this year in a bid to have at least one observer in every commune in the country.

“We will try to deploy observers to all communes,” he said. The National Election Committee stated on Friday it has met with 10 NGOs to discuss a cooperation framework.

As part of this effort, civil society groups will train observers who will be responsible for monitoring voter registration, registering candidates and parties, observing the conduct of campaigning, overseeing the casting of votes and counting the ballots.

NEC spokesman Khan Keomono yesterday said the official voter registration date has not yet been announced.

Panha said waiting until later in 2016 to announce a date might make it harder for civil society to expand its electoral education campaign this year, due to the difficulty of reaching certain communes during the rainy season.

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