NEC working to fix registration quirks

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NEC spokesman Dim Sovannarom. Hong Menea

As of Monday, the National Election Committee (NEC) has received 103 complaints regarding voter registration.

In a press release published on Monday, NEC said it has so far solved 41 of them and is in the process of resolving the remaining complaints.

NEC has received five complaints from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), 94 from the League for Democracy Party (LDP) and four from the voter registration team leaders.

Among the complaints, 55 were filed to commune councils while 48 were sent to NEC.

Hel Sarat, a NEC member, said: “Some complaints involving new voter registration were filed and solved at commune [levels] and others were forwarded to NEC.”

He said NEC had ended registration in communes but results needed to be compiled and solutions found for the remaining complaints.

The voter list must be validated by December 31 this year.

NEC spokesman Dim Sovannarom confirmed on Monday that as of 6pm on Sunday, 256,545 of a total of 300,390 citizens eligible to register to vote this year, or 85.4 per cent, had successfully registered on the vote list.

“We welcome all complaints because nothing is ever perfect, no matter what we do. There are many mechanisms to file complaints, with which we deal with. We continue to do this work transparently,” he said.

Sovannarom added that on Tuesday, NEC will meet to check on the complaints. Certain complaints that cannot be solved there will be brought to the Constitutional Council.

LDP president Khem Veasna and the party spokesman Chen Thon declined to comment on Monday.

Chhong Chanthorn, a representative from the Cambodian Youth Party (CYP), said voter registration and voter list checks were not problematic.

“Some political parties told citizens that one can only love the nation if they oppose the NEC. But my political party observed that the NEC made efforts in preparing voter registration this year, thereby achieving good results,” he said.

Sam Kuntheamy, the executive director of the election watchdog Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections, agreed that NEC officials had strived to carry out their work to prepare the voter list this year. But he requested that NEC update its materials for preparing voter lists on time in the future.

“I’ve witnessed a number of challenges in the voter registration. Materials for voter registrations are a tad old, the internet is slow and there are electrical snags. These problems lead to difficulties with voter registration,” he said.