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Voters Lists Remain a Problem, Opposition Says

Traditional systems for putting together voter lists and cleaning them up continues to give the Cambodian People's Party an advantage in elections, opposition leader Sam Rainsy said Monday.

The lists have emerged as a way to eliminate voters who do not support the ruling party, Sam Rainsy said, as a guest on "Hello VOA."

Independent monitors say the lists are a problem, and Sam Rainsy has said up to 550,000 names could be erased under a current program to clean them up ahead of next year's national elections. The CPP and the National Election Committee maintain that the lists contain the names of diseased or otherwise ineligible voters and need to be culled before the elections.

Sam Rainsy said he was countering this alleged strategy by informing members of his party to closely watch when voter lists are posted later this year and to bring any mistakes to the attention of election authorities and party leaders.

Sam Rainsy also said "ghost voters," such as soldiers who appear to have voted but no longer live in the areas where their ballots were cast, were also a problem.

He encouraged people to vote—especially in the wake of weak voter turnout in this year's commune elections—and to raise complaints sooner rather than later.