Workers’ leave for voting in Cambodia

The right to vote is one of the fundamental rights enshrined in Constitution of Cambodia. Paragraph 1 of Article 34 of the Constitution of Cambodia provides that “Khmer citizens of either sex shall enjoy the rights to vote and to stand as candidates for an election.” Paragraph 2 of the same article reads “Khmer citizens of either sex who are at least eighteen years old shall have the rights to vote.”

To facilitate the workers to perform their rights as voters, the Royal Government of Cambodia announced that employers had to allow their workers to have one day off before and another one day off after the polling day for the Commune/Sangkat Council Electionwhich would fall on Sunday 05 June 2022. (Letter No. 374 dated 20 May 2022 of the Council of Ministers and Notice No. 019/22 dated 24 May 2022 of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training.) In 2018, the workers were allowed to take 3 days off during the general election for the 6th mandate. (Notice No. 021/18 dated 13 June 2018 of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training.)

I have done quick research about the practices of other countries in ASEAN and found that Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines also allow workers to have days off on the polling days.

In Singapore, polling day is a public holiday. Parliamentary Elections Act of 1954, in particular Section 35, provides:

“Polling day at any general election is a public holiday as though it had been so expressly appointed in addition to the days mentioned in any written law for the time being in force relating to holidays.”

In Malaysia, the government has been authorized by the law to make announcement on public holiday. For example, the government recently announced that the polling day (09 May 2022) for the general election on was public holiday. This announcement is made pursuant to Section 8 of the Public Holidays Act of 1951which reads:

“The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette or in such other manner as he thinks fit, appoint, in respect of Peninsular Malaysia, or the Federal Territory or, after consultation with the State Authority, in respect of a State, a day to be observed as a public holiday or a bank holiday in addition to, or in substitution for, any of the days mentioned in the Schedules and thereupon this Act shall, in Peninsular Malaysia, or in the Federal Territory, or in the State in respect of which a day is appointed to be observed as a holiday as aforesaid, be applicable to such day in the same manner as if the said day had been mentioned in the First Schedule or the Second Schedule, as the case may be.”

In the Philippines, the President declared the polling day (09 May 2022) as the public holiday. Pursuant to Proclamation No. 1537, the President of the Philippines declared “Monday 09 May 2022, a special (non-working) holiday throughout the country for the National and Local Elections.” The polling day is declared a public holiday to “enable the people to properly exercise their right to vote, subject to the public health measures of the national government.” 

This text is not a legal advice or opinion. This text would be one of the interesting topics for further research.

Categories Employment and Labor Laws

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