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Chaotic But Widespread Voting in Philippines: Monitor


Cambodia is preparing for commune elections in 2012 and national elections the following year.

Cambodia is preparing for commune elections in 2012 and national elections the following year.

Despite concern raised by critics, a Cambodian election expert says Cambodia's process is better than some, particularly the Philippines.

“Because in the Philippines, there is behavior that does not follow procedures and the election law, so they can't compare to Cambodia,” said Keo Darith, a monitoring coordinator for the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia.

Cambodia's electoral organization is orderly, better equipped and includes secret ballot booths, he said, as a guest on “Hello VOA.” Keo Darith recently monitored an election in the Philippines.

Cambodia is preparing for commune elections in 2012 and national elections the following year. In past elections, some groups, including the opposition, have complained of registration and voter-list flaws that denied some the right to vote.

The National Election Committee this month has begun to register new voters, in a process that ends Oct. 20.

The Philippines, which has been a democracy since 1946, operates in a system of electoral anarchy, where folded papers are used as ballots and 10-year-old children vote in lieu of their parents, Keo Darith said.

For all that, voters are more attentive than in Cambodia, which in recent years has seen a drop-off in election participation and where access to voting information is limited, he said.

Keo Darith said he supports a computerized voter list equipped with biometrics that would make it easier for people to vote.

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