Survey Finds Most Young People Keen to Vote

A survey conducted by the Youth Council of Cambodia—a collective of five NGOs—shows that, despite numerous frustrations with politics and the government, about 87 percent of young people plan to vote in the upcoming elections.

The survey—conducted bet­ween Nov 11 and Nov 15 and released this week—polled military officials, police, monks, teachers, students, laborers, sex workers and the unemployed between ages 17 and 22 in eight provinces, said Hem Mony­pheak, the Council’s advocacy and media officer.

Seventy-one percent of those wanting to cast ballots said that voting is an important duty of citizens, while others said they would vote because of pressure from their parents or because they had received gifts such as rice or kramas from political parties.

Those who did not feel voting was important said they had been disappointed with previous election results or that voting was just to much trouble.

Thirty percent of those who want to vote said that political parties do not care about young voters, and 38 percent complained that registration is too difficult.

Yong Kim Ang, who sits on the board of the Youth Council of Cambodia, said his organization would submit the survey’s results to the three major political parties in hopes that young people’s concerns will figure in party platforms.

He said that those concerns include corruption, border disputes, anti-drug efforts, improved education, economic reform, conservation and infrastructure development.

“I will send the checklists to the parties [after the election] to remind them about their promises. If they don’t keep their promises they will lose votes next time,” Yong Kim Ang said.

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