28 July 2013

Cambodian Voting Ink Fails

Back at Phnom Penh's Wat Than, and the monks and other voters  are agitated.

Inking is part of ensuring voting is free and fair.
The ink that shows someone has voted is supposed to be irremovable for at least 24 hours and thus plays a part in ensuring double voting doesn't occur.

The ink fails to do that job. It can be washed off with ease. 

The proof? I saw several voters simply remove the ink in the grounds of the Wat.

These monks have just voted and they are taking the ink off with what appears to be nothing more than liquid detergent. 

Perhaps, there is more in the bottle than that; doesn't matter, the ink is gone as these recent voters are keen to show.

Some that I stopped to talk to at What Than were already claiming the election to be a sham. This ink fiasco shows that they are right.

They also claimed that the Cambodian National Rescue Party would, if the election were fair, win 4 million votes to the ruling Cambodian People's Party 3 million.

 That's incredibly optimistic and highly improbable; even without its underhand tactics and outright control of the media, Hun Sen's popularity in the countryside would still ensure a sizeable victory.

When asked what they would do should the CNRP lose, they said the EU would fix this problem. That's also highly improbable.

 Or, the matter should be left at the door of the National Election Committee to solve. That's wildly improbable too, and after a moments thought and mutterings of corruption, they agreed.

Would there be trouble on the streets if the election was seen as rigged I asked. Their reply was muted but affirmative. These young folk didn't look like they had a taste for such action, though.

As I was cycling home a young boy of no more than 12 called to me; "Change, or no change."

"Change." I said, and he grinned.

Not this time, though. Not this time...

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