Many commune councilors refuse to provide opposition party members voter registration cards, the Sam Rainsy Party complained on Wednesday in a letter to the National Election Committee.
The party blamed the voter card shortage on skullduggery at the hands of councilors loyal to the CPP.
“There are still a lot of voters who don’t have documents to prove their identities in order to vote,” wrote Eng Chhay Eang, secretary-general for the Sam Rainsy Party, in his complaint to the NEC.
Commune councilors offer “these documents only to voters who support the CPP,” he wrote.
He requested that the NEC take immediate steps to prevent councilors from continuing to thwart opposition party members from getting their cards. Without the cards, many won’t be able to vote.
At least 1,000 voters living in Boueng Chhok and Prek Knout communes in Kampot district of Kampot province still haven’t received cards, wrote Eng Chhay Eang. This is solely because they are known Sam Rainsy Party members, he claimed.
In a separate letter to NEC President Im Sousdey, Eng Chhay Eang stated that election officials in Battambang province and elsewhere in Kampot routinely attempt to swindle voter cards from Sam Rainsy Party members. Villagers are sometimes offered money in exchange for their cards, he wrote.
NEC spokesman Leng Sochea said Thursday if voters don’t receive cards, they are still able to vote, as long as their name appears on the official list of registered voters. But voters are still required to have some form of identification to present at the polls, he said. For many rural villagers, their voter card is their sole form of official identification.
Leng Sochea said if voters lose or don’t receive an official card, they can ask the councilors to ensure they can vote.