NEC Drops Regulation After NGOs Complain

The National Election Committee (NEC) confirmed on Tuesday that it removed a clause from new voting regulations after NGOs expressed concern that it could limit their ability to monitor voter registration.

Last month, the NEC announced a new set of rules and procedures on updating voter lists, and tacked on a change defining independent mobile observers as “the leader of a community or non-governmental organization who the NEC decides to recognize and allow to observe the process of updating the voting list and voting registration.”

Organizations involved in election monitoring had asked that it be removed.

Contacted on Tuesday, NEC spokesman Hang Puthea confirmed that “the word ‘leader’” was taken out, allowing NGOs to decide whom they wanted to appoint to mobile observation teams.

At a news conference at the NEC’s head office on Tuesday morning, NEC chairman Sik Bunhok revealed that there were 9,788,239 people aged 18 and over eligible to vote from a total population of 15,883,250.

He also estimated that the number of polling stations for next year’s national election would be 23,470.

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