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NEC records six complaints over ‘minor irregularities’ in voters’ list

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The NEC recorded six complaints in the preliminary list of voters for the 2022 communal elections and the national elections in 2023. POSTPIX

NEC records six complaints over ‘minor irregularities’ in voters’ list

The National Election Committee (NEC) recorded six complaints about “minor irregularities” in the preliminary list of voters for the 2022 communal elections and the national elections in 2023 within five days after its release on June 27.

NEC previously announced that 8,629,356 voters – accounting for 84.78 per cent of Cambodians aged 18 or above – were included in the list, which had been available for viewing at communal halls throughout the country until July 2.

In addition, it said, 42,918 voters had been removed from the list.

One complaint came from Kampong Chhnang province while five others came from Kampong Speu province, the NEC said in a press release which was made public on Sunday.

The complaints had been settled at the commune and district levels and none of them had been forwarded to the NEC, the statement read, without disclosing the identity of the complainants.

NEC spokesperson Hang Puthea attributed the “small number” of complaints to “accurate computerised system” and “effective monitoring” at the municipal, provincial, town and district levels.

“As a result, we only found minor irregularities [in the list] and received a handful amount of complaints. But of course, technical errors happen from time to time. For instance, we found fingerprints of more than one voter were too similar,” he told The Post recently.

However, he argued that not many people had checked the list “due to their lack of faith in the computer system”.

Following the first release of the voters’ list on June 27, Puthea said complaints to make corrections on misspelt names and to delete the name of anyone deemed unqualified to vote – such as foreign and/or underage voters – could be submitted within five days to the commune halls, which had three days to find a solution.

Should the complainants not be satisfied with the commune hall’s solutions, they could file another complaint with the NEC. The response would be given within five days, he said.

Puthea continued that if the people were still dissatisfied with the NEC’s decision, they could file a complaint to the Constitutional Council that would have 10 days to settle the case.

Representatives of civil society organisations, political parties and relevant ministries were present during a meeting where the preliminary list was announced.

The NEC had said on March 14 that it would officially announce the full list of voters on July 31. It asked those who failed to register this year to wait until next year.

Besides visiting the commune halls, prospective voters could also check their names on the NEC website at www.voterlist.org.kh or through the Voterlist KH smartphone app.

Korn Savang, a monitoring coordinator for the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said, to his knowledge, removal of names of foreign voters off a list was a common thing.

He also pointed out “the lack of other parties’ participation” in raising awareness and monitoring during the name registration process.

“This year saw little political parties taking part in checking the voters’ list,” Savang stressed.

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