A high-ranking CPP official has instructed his subordinates to help people retrieve their Cambodian identity cards filed as collateral for loans or at pawn shops so that they can use them to vote in the election on July 29.
In his statement on Monday, CPP vice president Say Chhum informed senior CPP officials across the country that a number of voters have used their identity cards as collateral to borrow money from creditors and microfinance institutions.
“As a result, they do not have IDs to use during the voting day,” Mr Chhum said. “Please ask them to take their IDs back for a while from creditors or microfinance institutions so that they can use it in the election.”
Mr Chhum said that local authorities had to help advise those who owed money to apply for documents certifying their identity cards until July 27 to ensure that they were eligible to vote.
City Hall spokesman Meth Meas Pheakdey said that he has relayed the issue to local authorities to assist people who need to get their cards back.
Mr Meas Pheakdey said that using identity cards as collateral was illegal, noting that many pawnshops have demanded IDs.
“There is no law demanding debtors to put their identity cards as collateral,” he said. “People can actually use other documents certified by local authorities.”
Mr Meas Pheakdey appealed to all debtors who used their IDs as collateral to contact local authorities for help.
A Phnom Penh pawnshop owner reached by phone yesterday refused to comment.
Sao Veasna, a university student, said that he pawned his motorbike earlier this year and had to put his ID as collateral.
“It’s very normal to give them [creditors] my identity card because they need it for guarantee. When I pay off all the loan, including the interest, I can get back both my motorbike and my ID,” Mr Veasna said.