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Indonesia to send observers to monitor July’s poll

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Indonesian Ambassador Sudirman Haseng meets with Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn. MFAIC

The Indonesian government will dispatch two teams of observers to monitor the upcoming national election on July 29, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The Foreign Ministry made the announcement yesterday after Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn met with Indonesian Ambassador to Cambodia Sudirman Haseng on Tuesday.

It said that the Indonesian government will send two groups of observers, one led by senior officials and another led by Indonesian diplomats, to monitor the election.

“Sudirman Haseng also affirmed the stance of the Indonesian government to respect the sovereignty of Cambodia and the choice of Cambodian voters,” the statement said.

Mr Sokhonn expressed his appreciation for Indonesia’s involvement in the peace process in Cambodia and support for Cambodia’s development.

Meanwhile, Transparency International Cambodia said yesterday that it will not participate in monitoring the election.

“The political environment and conditions during the months leading up to the July election make it impossible for TI Cambodia to mobilise enough resources to monitor the polls and contribute to the electoral process in a meaningful way,” a TI statement said.

Head of TI Cambodia Preap Kol. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The announcement from TI came after two major election watchdogs, Comfrel and Nicfec, also said that they decided not to monitor the election because they were blacklisted following the June 2017 commune elections.

Thirty-eight civil society groups formed a ‘Situation Room’ to monitor the June 4, 2017 commune elections, but it was later investigated under the Law on Association and Non-governmental Organisations.

The investigation concluded the consortium should have registered with the ministry as a single entity according to the law.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said yesterday that the NEC welcomed Indonesia sending its observers to monitor July’s poll.

Mr Puthea said that 17 international observers from Singapore, Myanmar and other countries, and 34,000 observers from more than 60 NGOs, have registered to monitor the election.

“Now, the NEC has registered a lot of observers from international and national entities and as the election day approaches, more observers will come,” he said.

“The election law states that NGOs have the right to send or not to send observers,” he added. “So I think that some NGOs saying they will not monitor the election has no effect on its process.”

Mr Puthea added that registration of observers will end on July 18.

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