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Japan Team Finds Voter Registration Irregularities

Cambodian workers look through a partition of a construction site below a banner which reads "Where is my vote" as supporters of opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party gather in Phnom Penh, file photo.

A Japanese investigating team has found irregularities in voting registries, adding credence to complaints by the opposition, which says it lost last year’s election to fraud.

The election reform team met with members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, as well as the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, on Wednesday to discuss findings from a recent investigation.

Japanese Ambassador Kumamaru Yuji told reporters Japan is willing to help Cambodia restore its voter registries to ensure free and fair elections in the future.

Kouy Bunroun, head of an election-reform working group for the Rescue Party, said the Japanese investigation supported findings by the opposition of irregularity in voter registries that hurt their chances of winning in the 2013 polls. Local election groups had found the same thing, he said.

Tep Nitha, head of the National Election Committee, which oversees voting registration, declined to comment directly on the new findings. But he said the NEC has “received good and bad evaluations on the voter list.”