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Questions Linger Over 2,000 Names on Voter Register


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, Cambodia, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013.

The government rejected the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s assertion, but the CNRP continued to submit similar claims regardless.

The body tasked with addressing complaints about the creation of a new voter list ahead of local elections in June has resolved 95 percent of cases lodged by the public, it said on Wednesday.

Ut Chhorn, a spokesman for the Constitutional Council, said its officials had resolved 74 out of 78 cases since voter registration closed in November amid an opposition claim that 2,000 non-Cambodian nationals had been included on the list.

The government rejected the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s assertion, but the CNRP continued to submit similar claims regardless.

Chhorn said the council decided not to remove the 2,000 names identified by the opposition from the list saying the decision was for the National Election Committee to make.

Meng Sopheary, a lawyer who heads the CNRP’s legislative affairs department, said the legitimacy of the applicants’ identity cards was still unknown.

Election observers said the council should have done more to check the identities of people applying to register to vote.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of election watchdog Nicfec, said it should study the allocation of identity cards to non-Cambodians and the possibility of fraud.

“We want to see the council debate the source of these identity cards,” he said.

Kol Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections (Comfrel), said that so far both the NEC and the council had only based their conclusions on a limited reading of documents, rather than a thorough investigation.

“They only decide in the cases base on paper records, but no one proved if the identity cards were given to the right persons, or if that person has fulfilled the requirements to get Cambodian nationality.”

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