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Election Monitoring Group Says Voter Registration Did Not Go Far Enough


NEC’s spokesperson Hang Puthea speaks with the press after a meeting with senior CNRP lawmakers, at the National Election Committee (NEC), Friday, November 25, 2016, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

Hang Puthea, NEC spokesman, said the body was satisfied with the turnout during the registration process.

Election monitoring group Comfrel has said in a report that the 80 percent of illegible voters registered for the commune elections in June was not enough.

The National Election Committee (NEC) in January published the new voter list, which included more than 7.8 million names out of a possible total of 9.6 million.

Comfrel, along with the Election Reform Alliance, said it expected at least 95 percent of the electorate to register, adding that they should be given another chance.

Koul Panha, Comfrel’s executive director, said as well as the “incomplete” registration, his organization had found irregularities in the handling of complaints.

“Our observation, basically, in the district council, the complaint was not done according to procedure. The suspects were not cross-examined for those who were suspected of Khmer nationality. There were no serious questions raised at the communes and districts,” he said.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NECFEC), explained further that the NEC and district council did not pay attention in addressing the voting registration complaints because they did not require much evidence of identity in order to register.

“The NEC did not ask more serious questions or request legal documents to prove their nationality,” he said.

Elections observers said that they planned to meet with NEC officials to discuss a complaint filed by the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party alleging 181 Vietnamese nationals had registered to vote improperly. ​

Hang Puthea, NEC spokesman, said the body was satisfied with the turnout during the registration process.

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