Communes To List Names of Registered Voters

Lists of the more than 5 million voters registered for the commune council elections are scheduled to be posted today at polling stations across Cambodia.

Leng Sochea, director of the public information bureau at the National Election Committee, said Wednesday that voters have five days—from today until Monday—to check for their own names on lists where they registered.

“We expect a very busy few days,” said Leng Sochea, noting that while each polling station will handle less than 700 names, each commune election committee of­fice is responsible for as many as 10 stations.

Voters who do not find their names listed will have five days to file appeals with those commune election offices, from Sept 25 to Sept 29, he said.

Eric Kessler, office director of the US-based National Demo­cratic Institute, said election ob­ser­vers will travel around Phnom Penh today to check on the posting process, but said they expect no problems.

“We, and other observers, ex­pect this stage to be administrative, and fairly clean,” he said. “But we will be prepared to check out any reports of problems.”

The posting of the voter lists follows a contentious registration period. The Sam Rainsy Party claimed factory workers did not have enough time to travel to their home villages to register and were barred from registering near the factories where they work.

NEC officials said they were treating all voters equally, regardless of party affiliation. They said that the final tally—5,192,885 voters, or 83 percent of those considered eligible—was a respect­able number for first-time local elections that remain short of funding.

Some registration stations were forced to close down early when officials ran out of film for making photo voter ID cards, while others fell behind schedule due to problems related to flooding.

Election monitoring groups urged the government to extend registration hours in parts of the country where the numbers lagged behind, and the NEC did agree to some extensions.

 

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