The National Election Committee will extend the voter registration process for two communes in Banteay Meanchey and Battambang province by four days, according to a statement issued by the NEC on October 19.
Residents in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet commune, which is in O’Chrov district, and Battambang’s Ampil Pram Doeum commune in Bavel district, now have until October 24 to register for the 2008 national election, the NEC announced.
On October 18 the SRP called on the NEC to annul the voter registration in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet commune claiming that thousands of people were registered by political party officials rather than doing so on their own as stipulated in the election law.
Tep Nytha, NEC secretary-general, said Friday that the NEC’s decision to extend the registration in Poipet was a precautionary measure to ensure that all voters would be able to participate in next year’s election and had nothing to do with the SRP’s request.
“In Banteay Meanchey in Poipet commune there are many people not registered yet,” Tep Nytha said, adding that there are still around 1,000 residents who have not been registered.
He added that the NEC conducted an official investigation into the SRP allegations on October 18 and found that they were unfounded.
“Sam Rainsy said that many people have not gone to register [themselves], but there is no evidence,” Tep Nytha said. “If people have evidence they can complain to the commune council and then to the NEC,” he added.
Yim Sovann, SRP lawmaker, said that a one-day investigation was not sufficient time to look into the matter and he reiterated the SRP’s request that the voter registration process in Poipet be annulled.
“I don’t think the investigation is accurate,” he said. “There are no proper documents proving that [Poipet residents] have registered,” he added.