NEC Establishes Body to Oversee Creation of New Voter List

The National Election Committee (NEC) has created a special subcommittee chaired by former opposition lawmaker Kuoy Bunroeun to work on the creation of a new voter list, according to a statement obtained Wednesday.

Composed of six of the nine members of the NEC, the committee will be charged with working with specialists from the European Union (E.U.) and Japan to re-register the country’s more than 10 million eligible voters, according to the NEC statement, dated Monday.

“We will first study…the voter registration system, and second, the framework for spending on a voter registration system through a new technological system,” Mr. Bunroeun, the NEC’s vice chairman, said Wednesday.

“At this stage, we still need to meet with the E.U. and Japanese delegations first to find out more about how the technical assistants and experts…can help, and what options will be most convenient, since we are going to do a new [round of] registration for all voters,” he said.

The old NEC, dominated by CPP technocrats and accused of rigging elections for the ruling party, was dissolved last month upon the establishment of the new one.

The voter list used by the old NEC has been criticized for containing hundreds of thousands of duplicate names and for missing the names of some 1 million registered voters.

Some parts of the old NEC, including its secretary-general, Tep Nytha, remain in the new NEC but are supposed to be replaced soon. Mr. Bunroeun said work on the voter list was more important than making these replacements.

“This issue will be the next step, but don’t worry, the priority task for the elections is voter registration and to make a new voter list,” he said.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea, who will also sit on the voter registration committee, said he believed Mr. Nytha and the rest of the NEC’s general secretariat would be replaced by royal decree sometime later this month.

“The new voter list involves 10 million people, while the general secretariat involves a small number of people. We will work step by step,” Mr. Puthea said.

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