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NEC Removes 56 Foreign Names from Voter Lists

Amid rising pressure from opposition groups and election watchdogs, the National Election Committee announced Tuesday it had removed 56 foreign names from registration lists.

Critics say Vietnamese nationals have been allowed to register to vote, stirring a sensitive topic among Cambodians as the country heads toward national polls.

"After some research, local authorities and local police noted that those [56] people only have residency cards are and not Cambodian citizens," NEC Secretary-General Tep Nitha said. "They did not have sufficient grounds and clear documents concerning their nationality, and we decided to remove the names from the list."

Cambodia has citizens who are ethnic Vietnamese and by law should be allowed to vote, but those registrations have been tainted by the possibility of Vietnamese non-residents also trying to vote, a move often decried as trickery of the ruling Cambodian People's Party.