Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP says registration drive halted by officials

CNRP says registration drive halted by officials

CNRP says registration drive halted by officials

Opposition officials in Battambang town yesterday said they have temporarily halted a voter registration education campaign after being forbidden from engaging in such activities by local officials.

Chea Chiv, head of the Cambodia National Rescue Party executive committee in Battambang province, said two weeks ago Battambang town and Ek Phnom district governors had ordered the opposition to stop spreading voter registration information. “Right now, we reconciled already, however, our CNRP committee in Battambang decided to temporarily stop these activities . . . in order to avoid confrontation with authorities,” he said.

The activities were only banned in CNRP-held communes, with similar activities in Cambodia People’s Party-controlled locales continuing unfettered, he added.

Battambang Town Governor Sieng Emvunsy yesterday denied having banned the opposition from educating citizens, pointing instead to what he said was dysfunction at the registration station run by O’Char’s CNRP Commune Chief Sin Rozeth – who has repeatedly faced pushback from ruling party officials since taking office – and her commune clerk.

“The issue was caused by the commune clerk coming to work late and causing people who had gone to register to feel angry,” Emvunsy said, without addressing the topic of the educational campaign.

Chiv, however, maintained the educational campaign had been scuttled in O’Char by Emvunsy and the commune clerk.

The clerk could not be reached for comment.

Hang Puthea, spokesman for the National Election Committee, said “right now, all political parties have the right to educate people, but only for voter registration”, but added the NEC had no information about this case.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of election monitor Nicfec, also stressed parties’ right to share information with voters, which has been lacking.

“If anyone bans them, they are wrong,” he said, calling on the CNRP to complain to the Provincial Election Committee.

Voter registration nationwide has been sluggish, with Kuntheamy saying that only about 20 percent of the estimated 1.6 million people eligible to register to vote have done so.

He pointed to a recent report from his observers attributing the low numbers to “limited” voter registration information after the shuttering of several radio stations, recent heavy rains and the tense political environment, which has “discouraged” some people. “It’s very concerning,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a