PM Orders Issuance of Cambodian Identity Cards to Cambodian Expatriates in the United States
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WASHINGTON: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with the Ministry of Interior to facilitate the issuance of Cambodian identity cards to Cambodian immigrants living in the United States, to facilitate their return to Cambodia, as well as real estate transactions and election participation.
Speaking from Washington, D.C., during a meeting with more than 2,000 Cambodians in the United States and Canada on Wednesday, 11 May 2022, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered Deputy Foreign Minister, Prak Sokhonn, and Interior Minister Sar Kheng to work on this.
He said, "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a consular section, the Ministry of Interior has an immigration and identification department, especially the identification department. Our people here have not had Khmer citizenship since they were young or have not had their name on the resident list. So we have to make sure our people have a Khmer identity card.”
However, the Prime Minister stated that even if Cambodians in the US and Canada receive their IDs, people should not believe the demand of the opposition to allow Cambodian citizens to send their votes in by post, which he considers a serious mistake.
He stated that if Cambodian-Americans want to go to the polls, they must register and vote in Cambodia itself. He said, "If you want to have the right to vote, you have to go to [to Cambodia] to register to vote, during the year that the National Election Committee provides three months for residents to get registered, among those who have reached the eligible voting age, and to delete the names of those who died. Go to register with [the committee], like if you want to vote in Phnom Penh, you should register in one of the communes in Phnom Penh, the public has the right to vote for the commune chief, the right to vote for the National Assembly in Phnom Penh.”
The Prime Minister further added, "Even in today's election, at 7 AM, we open the ballot box, and at 3 PM we cast the ballots and count them all, [but the opposition will] say we cheated the ballots, and what how about if we send [votes in] by air from the United States to Cambodia, how much will [the opposition] accuse us then? What! They are cheating like this, so I have to unmask the cheaters!”