The National Election Committee (NEC) has rejected a request from the opposition CNRP to establish polling stations along the Thai border that would allow migrant workers to more easily cast their ballots in upcoming elections.
In a letter dated Tuesday, CNRP lawmakers asked the NEC to ensure that “dozens of thousands of Cambodians working in Thailand are able to register on Cambodian soil along the border and vote at polling stations along the border.”
NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said on Wednesday that setting up polling stations along the border would require extralegal measures and was simply not possible.
“It would be impossible for the NEC to build registration centers and polling stations along the border,” he said, explaining that the new election law only provided for stations in each of the country’s 1,633 communes and adding that the logistics of registering migrants would be overly complicated.
Since the 2013 national election, the CNRP has pushed for numerous reforms, including voting from abroad, which would allow Cambodians living overseas to participate in elections, but the ruling CPP has rejected the proposals.