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Info Cards Can Confuse Voters: Parties

The National Election Committee will begin distribution of more than 8 million voter information cards Thursday, but competing parties said this week the cards did more harm than good.

The information cards are often misconstrued as a second form of identification necessary for voting, and, in the provinces, local leaders of the ruling Cambodian People's Party exploit this confusion, candidates said.

The NEC said Tuesday it had developed a system of distribution that would prevent party favoritism, but critics disagree.

Distribution will last from June 5 to June 25, nationwide, and is the responsibility of commune election committees.

The cards are meant to provide voters with information on polling station numbers, location and the date of the election, said NEC Secretary-General Tep Nitha.

But the cards are too complicated, leading some people who don't receive them to believe they are not eligible to vote, Norodom Ranariddh Party spokesman Muth Chantha said.

The cards were a waste of NEC money, he said. The NEC spent $240,000 to produce them.

The Neutral and Impartial Committee on Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia will dispatch 7,000 observers for the card distribution.