Donor Countries Question Election Ink, Ballots

International donors contributing to Cambodia’s upcoming elections sought answers on Monday about the indelible ink that will be used to stain voters’ fingers to mark that they have cast a ballot, the National Election Committee said.

Spokesman Hang Puthea said the committee had met with representatives and ambassadors from the E.U., U.S. and Japan and offered them reassurances about the ink as well as the printing of 1.5 million extra ballots for June’s commune elections.

“They promised to continue to support the election reforms,” Mr. Puthea said.

“For the problem of extra ballots being printed…those who raised concerns from the outside are not the experts who worked on this.

The NEC has its reasons why it needs to have extra ballot printing and the parties accepted the NEC’s explanation.”

As for the ink, $800,000 had been spent on an order from India, and the product would be tested once it arrived, he said.

The ink used in the 2013 national elections could be washed off with hair-straightening liquid, according to an election watchdog.

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