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Authorities Make Arrests at the Polls for Disrupting Election Process

PHNOM PENH: NEC spokesperson Hang Puthea told EAC News that authorities had arrested a number of individuals for causing irregularities at voting stations during Election Day on July 23.

Hang Puthea pointed out that some people who went to the polls did not follow election procedures, like in the case of a man who went to the polls at Wat Moha Montrey Primary School. He refused to place his ballot in the box and instead pocketed it. He was then taken to the police station for questioning.

In another case, a man went to the polls in Stung Meanchey district, entered a voting booth, crossed out the entire ballot, took pictures with his phone and dipped his finger in ink as usual. Authorities became suspicious and the man tried to delete the photos, but failed to delete them all and was arrested by authorities.

According to the NEC spokesperson, a resident of Svay Rieng province fainted in while voting. It was unclear as to whether or not the person had voted so NEC officials followed procedure by putting the ballot in a bag and recording the incident.

He added that in addition to the irregularities, some people in Prey Veng province had voted, then insisted on dipping a finger other than their index finger in the semi-permanent ink, which was not allowed by the NEC. In Tbong Khmum province, there was a case where a citizen went to the polls but refused to dip his hand at all. NEC officials took the man to the police station and found that he was on drugs.

Hang Puthea added that in Pailin province, it has been raining since Saturday night, causing some difficulties for voters to get to the polls. It was also raining in other provinces such as Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Kampot, Sihanoukville and Kep, but people still showed up to vote in regular numbers.

As of 4pm, the NEC recorded just over 8.380,217 million citizens in voter turnout this year. That is about 86% of the 9,710,655 registered voters.

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