The National Election Committee on Tuesday announced the near complete results of the voter registration period for the 2008 national election, which ended Saturday.
Barring the results from nine communes that have yet to be tabulated, a total of 893,131 voters registered in the latest registration period, bringing the nationwide total to 8,027,706—an increase of 228,335 voters from last year, according to results issued by the NEC.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha said that the NEC had addressed the controversial issue of ghost voters, saying that the NEC will retain 79,688 of the 664,796 names that had been slated for deletion from the voter list. An additional 90,000-plus people removed their names voluntarily from the voter list because they had moved out of their communes, Tep Nytha said.
“The election process cannot be delayed any further,” he said, adding that voters who have been wrongly removed from the NEC list have until Nov 10 to complain to commune officials.
SRP lawmaker Kuy Bunroeun said during the press conference that many people still need to be registered and reiterated the SRP’s claim that 15,000 people in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet commune were illegally registered by political party officials and not by the voters themselves.
Tep Nytha responded that the NEC investigated the SRP claim and found no evidence to support it.
The NEC also issued a statement Tuesday stating that a total of 1,091 local observers and 27 observers from the US-based National Democratic Institute and the US Embassy had been accredited for the 2008 elections.
Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said that usually international observers begin to register several weeks before the election campaign begins, but added that he does not expect as many as in the previous elections.
“Cambodia’s election is no longer a priority for international observers because there are many other countries that are holding elections, such as Thailand,” he said.