NEC Claims 1.4 Million Registered

The National Election Com­mittee estimates about 1.4 million voters have been registered for upcoming elections in the past week, an NEC spokes­man said Monday.

But the figure, which NEC spokesman Leng Sochea said shows the registration pro­cess is working, was extrapolated from a sample of only two re­gions.

Large bags—designed to show evidence of any tampering—with the registration list and stubs from voter identification cards ar­rived Monday from Kep and Kampot province. The bags are to contain the sealed kits from each registration center.

The NEC is still waiting for the bags from 21 other Provincial Election Commissions, including Kandal, which includes Phnom Penh, Leng Sochea said. Other bags of registration information are expected to arrive throughout the week, he said, but the process may be slowed by transportation.

“Some provinces are far away. We need to fly them in, and some provinces have only one flight a week,” Leng Sochea said.

The figure provided Monday was based on an average of 400 voter cards issued in Kep and Kampot, he said. Nationwide, 3,500 registration centers completed their task last week, he said, so the 1.4 million figure can be extrapolated. Each polling station can register 700 people.

If the 1.4 million figure proves accurate, it would mean the registration process is on target for registering the 5.5 million people the NEC estimates are eligible to vote in the July 26 polls.

“We are very optimistic with these figures because it shows everything is going smoothly even though we are getting many complaints from the political parties,” Leng Sochea said.

Opposition parties have complained that their supporters have been discouraged from registering while those considered likely to vote for the CPP are given priority. Some stations turned people away last week, saying they would have to wait for a center to open closer to their homes. In fact, those with proper identification can register anywhere.

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