Observers back election process

Sen David / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Two international observers monitor the election process at a polling station. KT/Chor Sokunthea

A group of international observers said yesterday that the national election went smoothly with many Cambodians going to vote.

The observers held a press conference immediately after voting ended.

Li Jiecong, a representative of the observers from China, said the electoral process ran smoothly with improvements to voter list preparation, casting of ballots and the count.

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“The electoral process was held in a peaceful manner with Cambodian voters actively choosing their leader,” he said.

He added that the election ran safely with no violence.

“The workers from the NEC worked very hard with willingness for their country,” he said. “Many Cambodians came to vote even though some people talked about a boycott and were under pressure from other countries.”

There were 538 international observers monitoring the election, drawn from Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Kyrgystan, Belarus, Moldova, France and Australia.

Eight NGOs observed the election including the Centralist Democrat International, Assemlee Parlementaire de la Francophonie, the Civic Chamber, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, International Conference of Asian Political Parties, Centralist Asia Pacific Democrat International, Asian Parliamentary Assembly and Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

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Richard Wood, a monitor from the UK Independence Party, said he closely watched during and after the election to ensure that Cambodians’ voting rights were upheld.

“I am here to observe and record my observations. I’m interested in one thing, that people could go to vote freely for the candidate of their choice. It’s all about the people’s choice. The process is good,” he said.

On Saturday, the National Election Committee met international observers. NEC chairman Sik Bun Hok told them that Cambodia had prepared free and fair elections.

Mr Bun Hok also noted that the CNRP was dissolved in 2017 because it broke the law.

“It was a serious matter and we followed the Criminal Code to prosecute its former leader,” he told the observers. “It was not politically motivated. Had he not done anything unlawful we would not have had his party dissolved.”

On Saturday, Prime Minister Hun Sen also met the international observers. He said Cambodia held its national election every five years in the fourth week of July in accordance with the Constitution.

“Cambodia is not under any colonial rule,” Mr Hun Sen said. “Cambodia is an independent and sovereign state, and the parliamentary election has to be conducted in accordance with the constitution and in response to the Cambodian people’s will.”

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