PHNOM PENH —
The national election body has called on Cambodians who live abroad to register ahead of next year’s national election.
Registration opened on September 1 and will close on November 9, with registration offices open only on weekdays.
The election is scheduled for July 29 but comes amid heightened tensions and a crackdown on dissent that has drawn strong criticism from the international community.
Hang Puthea, National Election Committee spokesman, said the political climate would not affect the registration period.
“The NEC does not talk about the political situation. The NEC’s responsibilities are to follow the election laws and organize an election with an acceptable result for all stakeholders,” he said.
Yoeung Sotheara, a legal officer at election monitoring group Comfrel, said that thousands of Cambodian workers would struggle to register to vote in time.
“We do not have much hope that they can come and register for the election,” he said.
“It’s also about the political issues, that after the election they would be afraid of what will happen with the country in such chaos,” he added.
Puthea said that it was the responsibility of expatriates to manage their time and budget to be able to vote.