Cambodia: NEC rejects opposition party’s election-related request hinh anh 1 Sik Bun Hok NEC Chairmam (Source: The Cambodia Daily)

Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia’s National Election Committee (NEC) on October 20 dismissed a request of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) to permit Cambodian guest workers in Thailand to register voting at polling stations along border areas shared between the two countries, saying that this is illegal.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said the committee would be unable to help the roughly one million Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand because the “NEC can’t do anything illegal.”

Previously, on October 18, CNRP Acting President Kem Sokha sent a letter to NEC President Sik Bun Hok asking the committee to allow migrant workers who are showing up at the border each day to register voting.

Migrant workers are often unable to return to their homes for elections due to time and money restrictions, the letter said, suggesting NEC intervene for Cambodian workers who are working in Thailand and want voter registration at polling stations located in areas near the Cambodia-Thailand border in accordance with the law.

According to the Cambodian Government, there are over 25,000 legal and illegal Cambodian guest workers in Thailand.

Cambodian citizens have been registering voting from September 1 to Nocember 29 in preparation for the commune-level elections slated for June 2017 and the national elections in 2018. Some 6 million voters nationwide had registered for the elections as of October 20.

Cambodia holds a general election every five years with the most recent held on July 28, 2013. During the 2013 election, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen won 68 out of the 123 seats in the parliament, while the opposition CNRP gained 55 seats.-VNA