The Minister of Cults and Religion has agreed to review laws governing the issuance of identification cards to monks which, in its current state, limits their right to vote. After answering questions at the National Assembly’s seventh commission, minister Him Chhem said they will be working on the various issues raised, including the development of the National Buddhist Institution, the expansion of the Buddhist University and the wages of monks. “We understand each other [in the meeting]. I have my report. We will solve the remaining problems gradually. We have measures to solve it,” he briefly said to reporters yesterday without elaborating on any of the issues raised in the assembly.
Yem Ponhearith, the chairman of the seventh National Assembly commission, said he accepted the responses delivered by the minister and understood the challenges faced by the ministry, specifically regarding the limbo many monks now live in without the right to vote.
“Before, the monks could use monk identification cards in voter registration,” he said.
“But the current electoral law requires them to have national identification, so we need to change the laws. The minister said he will review and resolve the issue.”