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NEC Extends Registration in Flood-Hit Areas

A Cambodian People's Party poster hangs on a wall outside a business as a woman offers prayers to Buddhist Monks, file photo.

The National Election Committee said Thursday it was extending by three days voter registration in 316 communes hit hard by recent flooding.

The extension was made at the request of local election officials, political parties and election monitors, pushing the date from Oct. 15 to Oct. 18. The areas include 71 communes in Kampong Thom province; 51 in Kampong Cham; 37 in Prey Veng; 33 in Kampong Chhnang; 31 in Preah Vihear; 20 in Kandal; 15 in Kratie; 13 in Pursat; and 10 in Takeo.

Meanwhile, the election observer Nicfec and the National Democratic Institute said in a report they had found evidence in some communes of people being registered without documentation and that not all registration sites were open as late as they should be.

In 40 percent of 299 observed communes, people were allowed to register without coming in person, a violation of the law. The groups also said they found evidence that a new NEC regulation that should have allowed the use of expired national ID cards was not followed.

Kuoy Bunroeun, a lawmaker for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said the findings of irregularities were supported by the party’s own observations.

However, NEC Secretary-General Tep Nitha said dimissed the findings, saying it did not have similar reports from commune clerks, council members or political parties.

About 660,000 people have been registered so far, he said, far exceeding the estimated 470,000 who were expected.