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NEC Claims High Voter Registration, as Critics Chide Process

Nearly 900,000 new voters registered for upcoming national elections, the government committee in charge said Tuesday, claiming an increase over expectations of 30 percent.

But critics say the numbers are unreliable, due to numerous irregularities observed during registration, as Cambodia gears up for national parliamentary elections in July 2008.

National Election Committee Secretary-General Tep Nitha said Thursday he had expected about 680,000 new voters to register.

Registration lists will be displayed across the country from Oct. 25 to Nov. 30, allowing voters to amend the lists, correct name spelling, or transfer their voting rights from one administrative commune to another, he said.

He reminded voters that if they have moved from one commune to another, they must register at their new commune.

NEC's preliminary results were calculated through Oct. 20, from 1,612 of the country's 1,621 communes. The estimated number of people who had not registered was 682,459. However, those registered, about 893,131, equalled 130.87 percent of those predicted, the NEC said.