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Interior Ministry Pushes The Adoption of Electronic ID Cards

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times Share:
Residents wait to register for a Khmer Identification Card at the police headquarters in Phnom Penh. Supplied

The Interior Ministry has asked Cambodians to continue applying for new electronic identity cards that will be crucial to the upcoming commune and general elections after noticing that the number of people signing up for the cards has slumped.
Late last month the ministry appealed to people as young as 15 to apply for the ID cards, a call that had been previously issued by local authorities but which the ministry worries went unheeded.
It added that the dissemination of identity cards will ensure citizens’ opinions are heard and guarantee the voting rights of all Cambodians across the country.
“A new ID card is a necessary legal document that guarantees one’s right to freedom and other opportunities throughout the nation – and especially allows a citizen to exercise her political rights during elections,” the ministry’s statement read.
Lieutenant General Chan Kimseng, spokesman for the Identification General Department at the Ministry of the Interior, explained to Khmer Times the possible reasons for the reduced number of new ID adoptees.
“The main reasons causing the decrease in the number of people signing up for the cards are the huge number of Cambodians who have migrated abroad looking for work and also simple noncompliance to the recommendations of local authorities,” he said.
“Elderly people, for instance, think the ID cards are useless,” adding that the ministry has enough capacity to issue and process new cards for the entire country.
“The ministry will continue to issue ID cards to citizens and urge them to adopt them in preparation for the commune elections in 2017,” he said, noting that citizens would still be able to use their old ID cards to vote in the 2017 commune elections and the 2018 national election.
So far, the ministry has issued more than 7.2 million new electronic identity cards throughout the country and plans to issue a total of 10 million by the end of this month.

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