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NEC Begins Voter Update for Next Election

The National Election Committee made a public call on Wednesday for Cambodian voters to register and update their information with commune leaders.

Those eligible to vote have until Oct. 20 to update their local voter lists in order to participate in future elections.

The next nationwide election will be held in 2012, when voters elect commune council members. The NEC updates voter registration lists every year.

"It is very important that people participate in the election," said Tep Nitha, secretary-general of the NEC. "They must go check their names on voting lists to avoid the problem of a lost name in the coming election. And the young generation who will be 18-years-old by the end of 2008 must go ask to be registered on the voter list of the commune."

The NEC took two months following July's election to update its lists, and Tep Nitha said Wednesday between 250,000 to 350,000 youths will be of voting age this year.

Opposition leaders and election monitors said following July's election the voter registries were inaccurate, making it difficult for some to vote and displaying some names twice.

Problems with registration have caused apathy in some of the voting public, said Hang Puthea, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia.

"We see the announcement of the NEC in commune headquarters," he said, "but it seems that people are less interested after the general election and people are not well informed."