Political parties, citizens and some former politicians yesterday said that the election was generally conducted smoothly and with good order, safety and security.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the election process was smooth, secure, free and fair, noting that national and international observers valued that Cambodians chose to determine the fate of the nation.
“Cambodian people across the country went to polling stations where their names were on the voter list and queued from the morning in front of each polling station,” he said, noting that this reflected a strong desire to elect leaders for a bright and optimistic future.
Kong Monika, president of the Khmer Will Party, cast his ballot at Sothearos Primary and Secondary School in Tonle Bassac commune in Phnom Penh.
He said that from what he had seen at the polling station, voter participation seemed to be similar to the previous election. Electoral preparations went smoothly and were conducted in accordance to the procedures set out by the National Election Committee.
“But we have not been able to make a preliminary judgement on the whole election process yet as we are waiting for the entire election process to be finished and for the results of the vote count,” he said. “I think our people are so intelligent these days, so in every election, people want to express their rights as citizens.”
“Those who do not come to vote are also expressing their rights to freedom,” he added. “That means Cambodian people are smart in using their rights properly.”
Voting in the election for the sixth legislature started at 7am yesterday and ended at 3pm with 20 parties taking part.
More than 6.8 million people cast ballots, representing 82.17 percent of the 8.3 million registered to vote. In 2013, voter turnout was about 69 percent, with 6.6 million valid ballots cast.
Chan Bunhorn, president of the Our Motherland Party who also went to vote at Sothearos Primary and Secondary School, said many people and monks had gone to vote.
This indicated the willingness of people to participate in choosing the country’s leaders, he said.
“Democracy is about people’s willingness to struggle for what they want, and the most important thing is the participation of the people,” he said.
However, he could not yet evaluate the overall election as he waited for the results, he said.
Lay Narin, secretary-general of the Beehive Social Democratic Party, said he did not see any major problems yesterday.
“There was a little technical problem when people went to vote in large numbers at the same time,” he said. “There were some inappropriate words from some polling station staff. However, there was no violence at the polling stations.”
The next step was to make sure NEC officials count the votes accurately and appropriately, he said.
Chin Thon, secretary-general of the League for Democracy Party, declined to comment.
Mam Narin, a 68-year-old resident living in Chamkar Mon district, said the election was very important for Cambodia.
“I and others came here to fulfil an obligation to choose a leader,” he said outside a polling station where he voted. “In my heart, I have always made my choice based on what will make me happy in every legislature. I have to maintain my stance to continue being happy.”