Cambodia’s political parties are preparing to monitor a voter registration pilot project, which will be held in November.
The project will use computers and a digital system to register eligible voters for local elections in 2017 and national elections the year after, under the new National Election Committee, which was established earlier this year.
Election observers and the opposition have complained that the old NEC was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, and that voter registration was made difficult for supporters of other parties.
Party representatives told VOA Khmer this week that they will closely monitor the new system and NEC.
Rescue Party spokesman Yim Sovann said that despite some concern over timeliness of registration, the party will leave the NEC to work independently, while monitoring the process.
“We will wait to see the data collection procedure and see what the obstacles are,” he said, adding that party officials at the districts, communes and villages where the pilot project is being held have been notified.
Sam Inn, a representative of the newly established Grassroots Democracy Party, said his party supporters are encouraging villagers to prepare for registration. “It’s a good step forward,” he said. “But we have to wait and see how accurate, accountable and efficient the new NEC is.”
Ruling party spokesman Sok Eysan said the CPP is “respecting the NEC’s process.” “The main thing is that our party will join hands at the local level to educate and encourage people to participate in the voter registration,” he said.
Representatives of the Rescue Party and Grassroots Party said they were concerned that migrant workers would have a hard time registering. Sam Inn said he also wanted to make sure that all persons were involved in the election, to ensure it is free and fair.