At the invitation of the National Election Committee (NEC) through the Civil Society Alliance Forum (CSAF), we, (1) Mr. SON SARAT, President of Khmer Australia Association in Queensland, Inc.; (2) Mr. LY KHUNG NAM, President of Cambodian Friendship and Cultural Association of South Australia Inc. and (3) Mr. HUYNH OR, Representative of Khmer-Australian Association of Victoria Inc. and members of the associations have the honor to participate as registered international observers in the 5th Mandate of Commune / Sangkat Council Election in Cambodia, which was held on 5 June 2022.
During the mission in Cambodia, we visited various polling stations to observe the general situations of the electoral process from the opening of the ballot boxes to the ballot casting by voters to vote counting. In addition, we met with government leaders, members of political parties, representative of the NEC and members of the civil society. We observed that the electoral process proceeded peacefully and democratically.
Though Cambodia’s democracy is young, its democratic model can be a good example for other post-conflict countries in the conduct of democratic elections. Our observation shows that the democratic process through elections in Cambodia has thrived continuously since the first democratic UN-administered election in 1993. In 1998, Cambodia could organize the national elections by itself with remarkable success. Since then, the NEC has been reformed constantly toward a transparent and effective mechanism of handling the electoral process. We can say that the NEC is an independent body with professionalism, which ensures that Cambodian voters can vote freely and peacefully. As Cambodians living abroad, we are so satisfied with these great achievements in the electoral progress and democracy.
This 2022 Commune/Sangkat election, the 5th mandate held on 5 June 2022, truly reflected a free and fair process. All political parties were able to participate freely and fairly in all processes and in accordance with existing legal frameworks. Voters are enthusiastic to exercise their rights and express their will through the free and peaceful election. We witnessed no signs of intimidation and violence in all polling stations during the election period, and voters freely participated in the election to vote for their preferred leaders for their respective commune/Sangkat.
We congratulate the Cambodian people on their efforts to participate in maintaining peace and promoting democratic principles through free and fair elections. We believe that peace and democracy in Cambodia will continue to flourish, which will benefit Cambodian people and people in the whole region.
Phnom Penh, 6 June, 2022
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