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INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM

CAMBODIA JULY 2018


NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

FINAL REPORT ON
ELECTORAL MONITORING PROCESS FOR
29 JULY 2018
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
THE KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA

30 July 2018
Report issued for the general public on 10 August 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM
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I. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................... 4
II. GENERAL ASSESSMENT....................................................................6
III. ELECTION CLIMATE ANALYSES ..................................................11
A. FACT FINDING....................................................................................11
B. LEGAL FRAMEWORK........................................................................12
C. ELECTION SUPERVISION AND ADMINISTRATION.................... 14
D. PROCEDURES FOR CANDIDATE NOMINATION AND
REGISTRY................................................................................................. 15
E. POLITICAL BACKGROUND...............................................................16
F. ELECTORAL APPLICATIONS............................................................17
G. CAMPAIGN AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE.
ANTI MONEY LAUNDRY PROVISIONS .............................................18
H. CIVIC SOCIETY....................................................................................19
IV FINAL CONCLUSIONS ON ELECTION OBSERVATION...............22
a. Pre-election period
b. The intervention of H.M. Norodom Sihamoni
c. Conclusions on elections
d. Terrorism threats and disinformation campaigns
e. Election Day/Opening/Counting/Tabulation
f. CONCLUSIONS ON PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION IN
CAMBODIA......................................................................................30
ANNEXES....................................................................................................33

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INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM
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FINAL MONITORING REPORT ON


THE KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTION

ELECTORAL ASSESSMENT

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I. INTRODUCTION

According to an official invitation from the National Election Committee of The


Kingdom of Cambodia to observe the 29 July 2018 parliamentary election, the
European Council on International Relations, Parliamentary Assembly for
Sustainable Development Goals, Europe and Asia Conference, World Electoral
Monitors Organization, all signatory of the Act for Transparent and Peaceful
Elections hereinafter presented as the INTERNATIONAL ELECTION
MONITORING TEAM decided to evaluate the political, judicial, legislative

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INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM
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and general framework of the National Assembly election slated for 29 July
20181.
The aim of the evaluation process was to assess the pre-election
environment and the preparations for the parliamentary election.

The evaluation process comprised in legislative text analyses, assessment of the


general political situation in the country and the conformity with general
accepted democratic practices and regulation and with bona fide principles.

Taken into account were also: public opinions, statements and discussions
expressed by officials from different Cambodian institutions and the election
and civil administration, as well as official spokespersons from political parties,
media outlets, civil society personalities, and the international community2.

1
https://centruldiplomatic.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/election-monitoring-website-dedicated-to-cambodias-
parliamentary-elections-july-2018-unveiled/
2
https://cambodian-elections.yolasite.com/

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160.000 election monitors had taken part in the complex process of monitoring
Cambodia`s July 29, 2018 Elections.

II. GENERAL ASSESSMENT OF LAW PROVISIONS

The International Electoral Monitoring Team conducted a Pre-Election


Assessment Analysis for the Kingdom of Cambodia in order to assess the
country compliance with the framework of human rights and internationally
respected electoral conditions in the country prior to the holding of the July 29,
2018, VIst National Assembly Elections.

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According with the law prescriptions, the National Assembly vote will start on
29 July 2018, giving the voters the chance to elect the National Assembly for a
full constitutional term.

The law encapsulates also the necessary democratic prescriptions for an open
and fair electoral process3.

July 29,2018, election will be the sixth consecutive national election called on
legal bases, a supplementary proof of a democratic and viable electoral system.

The principles that are governing the parliamentary elections are governed by
the Constitution, the Constitutional Law on Elections (Election Law), and
regulations of the National Election Committee (NEC)4.

The assessment process considered that Cambodia is a viable and fully


committed party to all major international and regional instruments related to
the holding of democratic elections and had continuously and full abiding by his
international democratic regulations.

INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM had found that:


the law and regulations governing the electoral process in Cambodia are

3
https://cambodian-elections.yolasite.com/National-Election-Committee.php
4
http://iricer.webs.com/apps/blog/show/45708432-cambodia-makes-incredible-strides-to-guarantee-free-
elections-in-2018

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completely corresponding to international laws and regulation insuring a perfect
electoral process5.

The authorities of Cambodia underlined in all public statements their


nation commitment to conduct elections in compliance with the principles
of openness, transparency and fairness6.

The election will be administered by a complex and modern system of


commissions, composed of a National Election Committee and including a
number of Territorial Election Commissions and the City Election
Commissions, District Election Commissions, and Local Election Commissions
(LECs).
The National Election Committee composition and activity is fully
independent and in perfect correspondence with international laws and
regulations insuring the independence of electoral and monitoring process7.

The international community from government and INGO`s and CSO`s from
Asia and Europe have expressed their support for the July 2018 Elections
through financial assistance and deployment of observers.

5
https://centruldiplomatic.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/cambodias-national-elections-committee-ensures-
free-and-fair-2018-poll/
6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKXgsi4_gmk
7
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6l9ufd

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Other international actors such as the International Conference of Asian
Political Parties (ICAPP) and the Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International
(CAPDI)and a host of electoral monitoring institutions from China, Myanmar
and other ASEAN member countries will observe the elections and support the
democratic process in the country.

We have to appreciate the Japanese Government continuing financial support to


the NEC, and that South Korean Government continues to offer training to the
NEC on voter education.

The current members of the NEC are: H.E. Mr. Sik Bun Hok, the Chairman,
H.E. Mr. Nuth Sokhom, the Vice-Chairman, and members: H.E Mr. Mean
Satik , H.E Mr. Dim Sovannarom , H.E Mr. Duch Sorn , H.E Mr. Hing Thirith ,
H.E Mr. Em Sophath, H.E Mr. Hel Sarath and H.E Mr. Hang Puthea.

The current composition of the NEC is a perfect illustration of the non-biased


and inclusive character of the organization.

NEC was appreciated for its significant progress in organizing 2017 Communal
and Sangkat Council Elections and 2018 Senate Elections, and all these
successes offered the necessary guarantees that this year's general elections
would be also free and fair.

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One of the hallmarks of electoral integrity is a non-partisan, neutral
election management body.

The NEC fully meets the requirements for an independent and impartial
Electoral Management Body.

Independent media stakeholders have expressed their support for the NEC-
National Electoral Committee decision to create an open, fair and transparent
environment for media involved in election process and appreciated the
improving mass media landscape in the Kingdom after the shutdown of the fake
news mill of Cambodia Daily and the restructuring of Phnom Penh Post had
given hope that the media will stop acting of foreign agendas and to support
violence and a campaign of disinformation in the country.
All international actors have also expressed their satisfaction with the
composition and management of the National Election Committee (NEC).
The management body is widely perceived as free and independent and able to
provide a competing and free environment for electoral processus .

The Election Law guarantees the right to conduct an unimpeded campaign for
or against any candidate.

In the democratic landscape of Cambodia, the INTERNATIONAL


ELECTION MONITORING TEAM noted the existence of a powerful

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independent media, with an impressive number of mass media entities operating
in the country.
Also a full independent televisions network is offering a perfect dialogue and
information source.
The Cambodian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and prohibits
censorship.

Keeping in mind that no elections can be considered as free and democratic


without the presence of international observers the INTERNATIONAL
ELECTION MONITORING TEAM decided to support Cambodian
electoral process and democratic credential by monitoring and observing
all stages of the 2018, 29 July, Parliamentary election in Cambodia.

The INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM has


monitored the full electoral process, candidate registration, and the
campaign, media, and Election Day procedures with an on-site mission
during the period of 22 July-2 August 2018.

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III. ELECTION CLIMATE ANALYSES

A. FACT FINDING
Cambodia is a fully flagged democratic kingdom, respecting the
equilibrium of powers and balanced distribution of constitutional powers8.

The National Assembly is acting in full respect of the democratic system and
the country has a long tradition of political process in a democratic manner and
with all the guarantees for an inclusive and democratic process.

The institutional system is offering a perfectly balanced voice to parliamentary


and representations system9.
The 29 July 2018, Parliamentary election where convened in a perfect
transparent and inclusive manner at the request of the responsible and
democratic institution in the country: National Election Committee.

The democratic initiative for a parliamentary election was supported by the


Cambodian Parliament and, on 25 February, the Cambodian National Assembly
announced the election would be held on 29 July 2018.
As we have mentioned previously the next election will be the sixth consecutive
national election in the kingdom recent democratic history.
8
https://centruldiplomatic.wordpress.com/2018/06/17/the-full-list-of-the-20-parties-taking-part-in-
cambodias-general-election-july-2018/
9
http://eucir.webs.com/apps/blog/show/45751730-dim-sovannarom-national-election-committee-cambodia-
is-a-multi-party-democracy-

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On 27 February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia stressed the


nation’s commitment to conduct a free and fair election in line with the
principles of openness, transparency and fairness.

The INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM considers that


the electoral process is fundamental, in law provisions and spirit and in
technical consideration perfectly administered, offering a perfect climate and an
open and inclusive and in full fairness political discourse resulted in a perfect
competitive electoral environment.

B. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Regarding the previous respect to democratic commitments, the Kingdom of


Cambodia has fully respected his international obligations regarding
construction of a free electoral consultation.

We must note that: INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING


TEAM has made an in-depth analysis of the electoral law and constitutional
framework of the Kingdom of Cambodia during 2018 Senate elections.

In the focus of this analysis where: the mass media law, the election law, the
political laws and the Constitutional Law of Cambodian and had operated a

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surveillance of the measure taken by the National Election Committee in order
to ensure a free and open election atmosphere.

The conclusion of the INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING


TEAM was that: the necessary steps in order to ensure an honest and balanced
electoral consultation respecting democratic standards were taken by
Government of Cambodia.

The conclusions of the committee findings can be summon up as an


endorsement of the law and constitutional provisions of the Cambodian
electoral system.

In the 29 July 2018, the same principles and laws are applying as in 2018 Senate
elections case.

The primary legal framework for parliamentary elections includes the


Constitution, the Constitutional Law on Elections (Election Law), and
regulations of the National Election Committee (NEC).

Other relevant laws include the Law on the National Assembly, the Law on
Political Parties, the Civil Procedures Code, the Criminal Code, the
Administrative Offences Code, the Law on Peaceful Assemblies, and various
local regulations related to public assemblies.

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Cambodia is a party to major international and regional instruments
related to the holding of democratic elections.

President Dr. Anton Caragea, the Head of International Election Monitors


Team for Cambodia 2018 Elections.

C. ELECTION SUPERVISIONS AND ADMINISTRATION

The election will be administered by a four-layer system of election


commissions.

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The election administration comprises the NEC, Territorial Election
Commissions and the District Election Commissions (DECs), and Local
Election Commissions (LECs) .

The Kingdom of Cambodia had acquiesced to the following instrumental


accords for upholding democratic values: the 1966 International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, 1979 Convention for Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women, 1965 International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 2003 Convention against
Corruption, etc.

Membership and submission to all the previously noted agreements and


treaty are creating a perfect election environment in accordance with
international laws.

D. PROCEDURES FOR CANDIDATE NOMINATION AND REGISTRY

The Constitution and electoral law are offering the climate for an inclusive and
representative participation in the electoral race: the National Assembly
candidate may be nominated through self-nomination or by a public association,
including a political party.

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The necessary prescriptions for barring from standing for office of persons
related to crimes, or found guilty of corruption-related crimes or administrative
offenses have being taken.

In Cambodia, there are currently 38 political parties registered with the Ministry
of Interior. These parties, in order to contest the elections, will have to register
with the NEC as well.

As of May 23, 2018, there are 20 political parties who were successful in their
registration with the NEC, ensuring the inclusion of their party on the elections
list.

The 20 registered parties for the upcoming parliamentary election include


Cambodian People`s Party- CPP, Cambodian Youth Party, Cambodian
Nationality Party, Khmer National United Party, FUNCINPEC Party, Khmer
United Party, Grassroots Democracy Party, New Light Party, Beehive Social
Democratic Party, League for Democracy Party, Khmer Anti-Poverty Party,
Dharmacracy Party, Kingdoman Democratic Party, Our Motherland Party,
Khmer Rise Party, Khmer Economic Development Party, Khmer Will Party,
Khmer Kingdoman Party, Reaksmey Khemra Party, and Cambodia Indigenous
People Democracy Party10.

10
http://www.akp.gov.kh/archives/132864

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The existing parties were able to organize themselves, most of them on a
nationwide coverage, offering the multi-party cadre of a functional
democracy.

E. POLITICAL BACKGROUND

Throughout the recent democratic Cambodian experience, the governing party,


the Cambodian People`s Party (CPP) has based its legitimacy on democratic
credential, free and fair elections, popular mandate and has grown to be the
country main political force for progress based on his achievements like:
liberating the country, ending the Khmer Rouge rule, bringing lasting peace and
stability, and outstanding economic development to a war-torn nation.

Under C.P.P. rule Cambodians had enjoyed steady economic growth, social,
educational and health system continuous improvements and have greater
access to information.
Urban migration and the proliferation of internet access and social media
networks such as Facebook have fostered awareness of the political issues, for
example, Prime Minister Hun Sen is one of the most followed world leaders on
social networks.

The Prime Minister Hun Sen’s leadership has also strengthened the country’s
democracy, enacted a system of rule of law and respect towards social norms
while pushing for development and modernization.

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Cambodian People`s Party popularity has withstood all electoral test in recent
years.

F. ELECTORAL APPLICATIONS.

The time for submission of applications for participation in the parliamentary


election in Cambodian ended and the electoral campaign started on July 9th
2018.
Conclusion: Under the full scrutiny of the democratic process in
Cambodia, INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM
considers that the period of registrations of candidature and the provisions
of the law have being fully respected and all the necessary procedural steps
have being address ensuring a perfect democratic character to the first
phase of the election procedures.

Recommendation: The Election Monitoring Committee of


INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM considers that a
high number of signatures on the candidate’s signature list will be a
beneficial addition offering a better selection of serious candidates.

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G. CAMPAIGN AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE.
ANTI MONEY LAUNDRY PROVISIONS

On May 23, the NEC had announced that 20 political parties had been
accredited for this year's elections and, out of 25 constituencies, 9 parties are
contesting all 25 constituencies.

The election campaign starts on July 7th , the day after the end of candidate
registration, and lasts until 27 July , when the silence period starts.

The Election Law guarantees citizens and public associations the right to
conduct an unimpeded campaign for or against any candidate.

Local authorities are mandated to provide space for the placement of campaign
posters on an equal basis and candidates may also post materials on TV, radio
and print media.

Conclusions: The INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING


TEAM stated that ensuring transparency and strict supervision policies are
all decisions destined to discourage money laundry, political corruption
and in offering a fair and equal based financial support for all candidates, a
fundamental base of democratic elections.

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The Election Law is the main legal source addressing candidate rights to
campaign in the media, providing equal access to airtime and print space.

H. CIVIL SOCIETY.

The role of civil society in elections often takes the form of support for the
institutional processes of democratic elections as well as the more substantive
development of a democratic electorate.

Freedom of association and freedom of expression are very basic principles in a


democratic society.
Indeed, the Cambodian constitution enacted in 1993 and amended in 1999
created a democratic system that showed respect for the norms of universal
human rights.

With respect to the forthcoming elections, many civil society organizations and
voters have expressed full trust in the ongoing election preparations.

From the time of its first democratic elections in 1993 to our day, Cambodia has
gradually become home to one of the most open and vibrant media and civil
society environments in Southeast Asia.

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The atmosphere of the 2018 pre-election period is tensed on the account of
incredible pressures in favor of an outlawed party, with appeals to boycott and
attempts to block electors to express their will via the ballot boxes.

This atmosphere of threats against the legal government, the National Electoral
Committee and the main political parties is counterbalanced by the national
enthusiasm and vibrancy of civil society and political parties dedicated activity
and the determination of the authorities to carve out the 2018 elections,
as the most democratic election in the country.

Months prior to the elections, the International Electoral Monitoring Team saw
unlawful activities destined to create a sense of disenfranchisement among
stakeholders and voters and attacks against various political parties (especially
Cambodian People`s Party-CPP) and against the government.
The Kingdom legal courts had concluded that: these activities were part of a
programmed coup d’état by the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party
(CNRP).

After the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) the
situation in the country has experienced a rapid improvement in terms of
dialogue, optimism and trust in the political process.

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With the absence of the threats and violence from the political arena a line
of rapidly developing opposition party had flourished demonstrating the
Kingdom political vitality and democratic prowess.

A line-up of civil society organizations had also sprung up supporting the


country democratic actions and created a high degree of freedom and
competitiveness in the elections process.

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IV. FINAL CONCLUSIONS ON ELECTION OBSERVATION

One of the most important aspects in organizing internationally recognized and


valid electoral process is the presence of international and internally accepted
monitors.

According to National Election Committee, a number of over 160.000 internal


and international registered observers will be surveying the poll and will also
ensure a countrywide supervision of the electoral process11.

The Cambodian Election Law provides for international and citizen observers,
as well as authorized representatives of registered candidates.

There is an accreditation procedure and observers are required to present a letter


from their nominating organization and their identification documents to the
election commission where they will observe the process12.

We consider that the electoral system is offering the checks and balances
necessary to ensure a perfect democratic consultation13.
11
http://www.akp.gov.kh/archives/132808
12
http://eucir.webs.com/apps/blog/show/45794828-european-election-observer-mission-to-take-part-in-
cambodian-national-elections-2018-monitoring
13
http://eucir.webs.com/apps/blog/show/45713452-international-observers-are-prepared-for-2018-
cambodia-s-national-election

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INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM
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■■■

The evaluation panel has taken under consideration opinions and


statements from members of recognized and lawfully established human
rights organizations, political parties, media persons, academics, diplomats,
intergovernmental organizations etc.

This evaluation panel report is also based on an extended analysis of


relevant political and legal literature reviews, interviews, press articles and
expert interviews.

a. PRE-ELECTION PERIOD

The INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM consider that: the


pre-election period was marked by full transparency, honesty and a calm
electoral climate conducive to an all-inclusive electoral climate.

b. THE INTERVENTION OF HIS MAJESTY PREAH BAT SAMDECH


PREAH BOROMNEATH NORODOM SIHAMONI- KING OF
CAMBODIA

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Despite the international community unanimous voice in praising the elections
environment on the Kingdom of Cambodia as conducive to free and impartial
elections some interested parties desirous in seeding havoc and conflict,
continued to raise questions and to try to falsely present the realities of the
Kingdom14.

In front of a media slur and outrageous misinformation campaign, destined to


taint Cambodia`s people and authorities determination to host free, equal
opportunity and transparent elections, His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni has
the final say15, closing any honest debate on the subject: The Kingdom will
enjoy free and fair elections and the people of Cambodia will have the full
opportunity to express their views and decision for the country direction and
leadership.

The royal message writes that:


“On this occasion, I would like to solemnly call for all eligible voters to cast
their ballots in order to elect national leaders for development and glorious
progress in all fields16”.

14
http://eucir.webs.com/apps/blog/show/45794858-international-democratic-community-offers-plaudits-to-
h-m-king-norodom-sihamoni-for-defending-democratic-and-free-elections-in-cambodia
15
http://iricer.webs.com/apps/blog/show/45751675-his-majesty-preah-bat-samdech-preah-boromneath-
norodom-sihamoni-king-of-cambodia-july-2018-election-will-be-free
16
https://centruldiplomatic.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/h-m-king-norodom-sihamoni-weights-in-cambodia-is-
having-free-and-fair-elections/

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INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM
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We consider that in the parliamentary election (29 July 2018) pre-election
campaign Cambodian has fulfilled all his legal obligation on holding open,
free, and fair and equal opportunity driven elections17.

The conclusion of the INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM


is that: the necessary steps in order to ensure an honest and balanced
electoral consultation respecting democratic standards were fully taken by
The Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

As a result on 3th July 2018, the INTERNATIONAL ELECTION


MONITORING TEAM18 decided to deploy an election mission to follow the
Election Day process countrywide and to supervise the Election Day activities,
including voting, counting, and tabulation of results.

We must also underline that: election commissions at all levels handled


technical aspects of the election in a professional manner in the pre-election and
election period.

Their sessions were openly and transparently monitored by observers and the
media.

17
https://medium.com/world-and-tourism/cambodia-s-july-29-elections-promises-to-be-the-most-
democratic-and-open-i-country-s-history-1a535b4a7bc3
18
https://medium.com/revista-de-politica-externa/international-community-launching-website-for-
monitoring-cambodian-general-elections-2018-48003718d1e8

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c. CONCLUSIONS ON ELECTIONS AND POLITICAL CONTEXT:

The political environment in Cambodia is characterized by the presence of


strong political parties with national scale activities, with genuine pluralism and
a vibrant political discourse.

NGOs operate in a permissive environment, and after 2017 reform bill that is
providing supplementary supervision for NGO`S, offering opportunities for
personal and institutional development and improving the sphere of activity for
all NGO`s bodies, in such a manner that they can fulfill their role in providing
quality services for Cambodian citizens.

Cambodian is enjoying a system that is open and full of liberty and the reform
on NGO`s field has allowed Cambodian to obtain high-quality services from the
area of civil society.

From what the INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM


gathered there are many reasons to hold the opinion that the coming elections in
Cambodia will be “free and fair” as the stakeholders believe and the
INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM can cite a few
opinions:
1. The fundamental civil and political rights in the country are observed
2. Independent media is supported and in free activity across the nation.

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This mission report concludes by saying that the coming elections 2018 have all
the legal, constitutional framework and general atmosphere as conducive to
transparent, free, fair and democratic valid polls.
d. CAMBODIA NATIONAL RESCUE PARTY TERRORISM
CAMPAIGN
A strange factor was the emergence on the election campaign of the terrorist
outfit: CNRP- Cambodia National Rescue Party19 who launched a vicious
campaign of manipulation in internal and international media.
Threats to the voters, illegal call for boycott and rumours about the use of a
poisonous ink used to identify voters and prevent second voting where among
the scare tactics f the terrorist organization lead by San Rainsy, Kem Sokha and
Mu Sochua20.
The illegal so called opposition was involved in buying international media
articles21, launching fake news campaign in propaganda mouthpiece such as
BBC, Al Jazeera and Reuters and they tried to intimidate authorities and
international observers and to prevent the holding of free elections.
We must note that all these attempts had failed miserably22.

19
https://medium.com/revista-de-politica-externa/cambodia-election-2018-lessons-confronting-cnrp-
cambodia-national-rescue-party-and-sam-rainsy-20c23af39ca2
20
https://centruldiplomatic.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/cnrp-cambodian-national-rescue-party-recognized-
as-a-terrorist-outfit/
21
http://www.atimes.com/article/cambodia-exiles-bid-buy-influence-washington/
22
https://europeaninternationalrelation.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/sam-rainsy-and-cambodia-national-
rescue-party-or-the-zombie-opposition-in-cambodias-2018-elections/

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INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM
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We recommend Cambodian authorities to take in the future the necessary
legal actions for the arrest and extradition to the country to face the full
rigors of the law of the terrorist groups affiliated to CNRP, CNRM and
other criminal organizations.

e. ELECTION DAY
Election Day was calm, with no obstacle in the voting process and open to all
electors in a transparent manner and a turnout of almost 82,17% percent was
reported.

f. OPENING OF POLLING STATION AND VOTING

Opening procedures were assessed positively in most polling stations visited.


The voting was done in a normal manner, no signs of forced presence, coerced
presence or suspicious persons or any control of voters were not observed.

The lack of any coercion in electoral activities was clearly marked.

No electoral tourism or mass migration of electors from one electoral station to


another was registered.

There where also some shortcomings as: voters who did not know how to act on
electoral sections, the lack of proper instructions in the management of the
electoral process were also registered in some cases.

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g. COUNTING
The international observers appreciated that the counting was done in an
orderly, open and transparent manner, allowing for the viewing and registration
of each vote; no staffing of urns was reported.

Some minor glitches were reported as: lack of information regarding the
opening and manipulation of mobile urns, lack of clear procedures regarding
annulled votes.

The overall climate of the counting process was an open and transparent
one.

h. TABULATION AND ANNOUNCEMENTS OF RESULTS

The tabulation process throughout the whole country was transparent in


compliance with the Cambodian international assumed obligations of
Copenhagen Document prescribing that the results will be: “counted and
reported honestly”

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V. FINAL CONCLUSIONS ON ELECTORAL RESULTS OF
CAMBODIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS ON
29 JULY 2018

In the final conclusions of the observation and monitoring activities opened on


the territory of Kingdom of Cambodia during the period of 22 July -2 August
2018 the INTERNATIONAL ELECTION MONITORING TEAM decided:

The pre-election period and campaign time were characterized by a free and
open legislation, encompassing all the necessary legal and constitutional
procedures granting any Cambodian society member the right to partake on the
election, to present and promote his candidature and to have the opportunity to
express his views and vote.

The campaign climate was peaceful, open with no pressures upon the voters,
with anti-money laundry provision ensuring an equal opportunity climate for all
the candidates.

The Election Day activities were conducted in a transparent manner, without


pressure or state authorities’ intervention in a manner conducive to allowing the
free expression of the Cambodian people.

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The Parliamentary elections in Cambodian held on 29 July 2018 were assessed
by “over 165,744 representatives of local organization, and 56 foreign states,
international organizations and foreign media,” according to Cambodian’s
National Election Committee (NEC).

A number of over 160.000 internal observers were deployed at all polling


stations in the country offering the necessary checks and balances for a
democratic electoral process.

In conclusion, we appreciate that: the vote of 29 July 2018 has expressed in


a democratic manner the views and the decision of Cambodian people and
the electoral process was clearly transparent, open, all-inclusive and
genuine democratic in nature and organization.

ANNEXED DOCUMENTS

National election a success: NEC

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:

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Prime Minister Hun Sen shows his inked finger after voting yesterday with his wife. KT/Chor
Sokunthea

The National Election Committee yesterday said that the national election was a
resounding success, with 82.17 percent of registered voters turning out to cast
ballots to elect the 125-seat National Assembly.
Speaking at a press conference after all polling stations closed at 3pm, NEC
chairman Sik Bun Hok said the election was a success with 22,967 polling stations
across the country reporting a smooth election.
“This is a success. I offer this accurate and transparent preliminary result for all
relevant parties as information that can be verified from now until the official
results,” Mr Bun Hok said.
He said that 6,885,729 out of the 8,380,217 registered voters turned out to vote, or
82.17 percent. In 2013, about 69 percent of voters cast ballots, with 6.6 million
making to the polls.

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The NEC is slated to announce its preliminary election results on August 11 and
the official ones on September 11 after all complaints from political parties are
solved, he said.
Mr Bun Hok added that authorities assisted with security well, ensuring a safe
voting environment and leading to the high turnout.
“No violence was reported,” he said. “It clearly shows that Cambodian voters have
become more mature when compared to the previous elections. They understand
their obligation and their rights.”
As of press time yesterday evening, unofficial results showed that the CPP won
more than 110 seats in the National Assembly, while Funcinpec and the LDP were
the only other two parties to secure those remaining.

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International observers attend a press briefing after the election yesterday. KT/Taing Vida

NEC spokesman Dim Sovannarom told reporters after the conference that the NEC
was proud of the high turnout
“The turnout is higher compared to the 2013 election. Both national and
international observers assisted well and they witnessed the whole process,” Mr
Sovannarom said. “So I think this election is clearly proved to be free, fair and
transparent.”
Phnom Penh police chief General Chuon Sovann said that about 80,000 forces
were deployed across the capital to ensure safety during the polling day.
“I think the electoral situation in 2018 was much better than the previous one in
2013, in which violence occurred at some polling stations,” he said. “Many police
officers were deployed to ensure security.”

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NEC chairman Sik Bun Hok speaks to the media after the election yesterday. KT/Taing Vida

Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany cast their ballots in Kandal
province’s Takhmao city early yesterday morning, but he refused to talk to the
media at the polling station.
Mahbub Alam Shah, an observer from Bangladesh who was at the polling station
in Takhmao city, said that a safe and peaceful environment ensured no violence
occurred.
“It’s amazing that a country like Cambodia can be very organised with all those
political parties. I’m not trying to be pro or against. We would tell the truth. I saw
it with my own eyes,” he said.
Cheang Ratanak, a 67-year-old voter, said that he voted to support democracy.

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Funcinpec party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

“I want all lawmakers to serve the people in the country. There were 20 political
parties, so I had a choice to vote for a true leader,” Mr Ratanak said. “I think this
election was free and fair.”
Chan Chamrong, a 42-year-old teacher, said he voted for the CPP because he
wanted the Kingdom to continue enjoying peace and further development.
“It’s been five mandates for the CPP but I still vote for it because I think it has
done good for the country and I do not think other parties will be better than it,” he
said.
Mao Monika, another voter who cast her ballot in Takhmao city, said that she felt
confident that she chose the right leader.

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“I hope the leader that I chose will help the people,” Ms Monika said. “Voting is
very important and this is the second time for me to vote. Before, there was a
strong competitor, the CNRP, but now we don’t have it any more. However, the
election process must move on.”
In a statement released yesterday, the CPP said that the high voter turnout clearly
showed that Cambodian people’s rights to participate in politics and enjoy multi-
party democracy remains robust.
“The CPP firmly believes that multi-party democracy is the foundation of
sustainable peace and development,” it said. “We congratulate Cambodians who
have voted today to maintain a multi-party system in Cambodia.”
The CPP, which is expected to win the election, also thanked national and
international observers for their monitoring.

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LDP president Khem Veasna at a rally in Prey Veng province. KT/Ven Rathavong

Mr Hun Sen posted a message on his Facebook page yesterday, saying that voter
turnout was high because people understood the democratic process and exercised
their rights.
“Thank you very much, brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, for voting in the
parliamentary election for any party you like,” Mr Hun Sen said.
Former opposition Sam Rainsy leader also posted message on his Facebook,
deeming the coming CPP victory as senseless.
“For Cambodian people, unable to make a real choice because of the absence of
the CNRP, the result of this false election conducted in a climate of fear is a
betrayal of the popular will,” Mr Rainsy said.

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In 2013, more than three million out of 6.6 million valid votes were cast for the
CNRP, leaving it with 55 seats compared to the 68 held by the ruling CPP after
about 69 percent of voters cast ballots, marking the lowest turnout in history.

NEC: No complaints filed over ‘unfair’ election

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times :

THE National Election Committee yesterday said that it has not received any
formal complaints from political parties claiming that the national election was not
free or fair.

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NEC spokesman Hang Puthea yesterday said that most parties only complained
through the media.
“I don’t have any official complaints yet sent to the NEC rejecting election
results,” Mr Puthea said, noting that all political parties signed a contract with the
NEC to recognise the official results.
“It won’t affect the results because the NEC followed the law,” he added. “We
conducted the election with transparency because we tally the ballots in real time.”
Mr Puthea’s comments came after the Reaksmey Khemara Party on Tuesday
criticised the election in a letter sent to the Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia.
“The national election process was neither free nor fair,” RKP president Sin
Sopheap said in the letter.
The Grassroots Democratic Party also said on Wednesday that the election was not
up to standard as it accused the ruling CPP of intimidation and vote-buying.
The GDP’s comments came after it released a statement on Tuesday as well,
claiming that it knew the election was neither free nor fair prior to it taking place.

“The GDP knew in advance that the election was not fully up to a free and fair
standard because of the CNRP’s dissolution, civil society organisation intimidated,
restrictions on the freedom of the press and state infrastructure being used for
campaigning,” it said in the statement.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan yesterday responded to the allegations.
He said that Cambodia is united in its choice to continue supporting the ruling
party, noting that nearly 80 percent of votes cast went to the CPP.
“Don’t just evaluate the election based on what someone said or what someone
heard,” he said.
According to preliminary NEC results, more than 6.9 million people cast ballots on
Sunday, representing 82.89 percent of eligible voters.
The CPP secured 76.78 percent, about 4.8 million, of votes nationwide.

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The NEC will announce all preliminary election results on August 11.

Ruling CPP will likely secure all 125 National Assembly seats

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:

Election workers begin to count ballots at a polling station in Phnom Penh on Sunday. KT/Chor
Sokunthea

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party secured 76.78 percent of valid votes
nationwide on Sunday, meaning that it will likely gain all 125 seats in the National
Assembly.
According to preliminary National Election Committee results, the CPP garnered
roughly 4.8 mil-lion votes, dwarfing all other parties including the two closest
competitors – the Funcinpec party with 373,526 votes and the League for
Democracy Party with 308,292 votes.
Based on its own calculations, the CPP said yesterday that it secured all 125 seats
after it garnered 77.36 percent of all valid ballots.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said that a higher voter turnout for the election led to
the party securing an overwhelming victory.

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“I would say that we secured a resounding victory,” Mr Eysan said. “According to
the figures, I would say we may gain all the seats, but please let the NEC calculate
it officially.”
The NEC yesterday updated its preliminary results, upping the voter turnout rate to
82.89 percent with the CPP securing 76.78 percent of votes nationwide.

An election worker displays a ballot marked for the ruling CPP. KT/Chor Sokunthea

More than 6.9 million people cast ballots on Sunday, representing 82.89 percent of
the 8.3 million registered to vote.
However, invalid ballots ballooned to nearly 600,000, compared to about 100,000
in the 2013 election, when voter turnout was about 69 percent with 6.6 million
valid ballots cast.
NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said yesterday that the figures could change as a
couple of polling stations in Kampong Speu, Kampot and Kandal provinces have
yet to provide final results.
“The NEC will work step-by-step to verify the figures,” Mr Puthea said. “Please be
aware of anonymous sources. The NEC has yet to announce its official results or
the parliamentary seats.”

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Mr Puthea also applauded the NEC for running a smooth election.
“Once again, I would like to say it’s a smooth, free and fair election,” he said.
“Security was ensured and people were happy to go to vote.”

An election official tallies votes on Sunday in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The NEC will officially announce all of its preliminary election results on August
11 and the official ones on September 11 after resolving complaints from political
parties, he noted.
Yang Saing Koma, president of the Grassroots Democratic Party, posted on his
Facebook saying that although the GDP won no seats, it gained support from
villagers.
“We will continue to work with more Khmer youths and local people to grow basic
democratic seeds,” Mr Saing Koma said.
National observers from seven organisations yesterday held a press conference to
sum up what they witnessed at polling stations across the country where 1,036
observers were deployed.
They said that the election was free and fair without any intimidation.

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“The election was held peacefully as voters went to cast their ballots without fear
or coercion. We saw a lot of international observers at the polling stations,
impressing us that the Cambodian election was transparent,” said Chum Chan
Putheavy, director of the Cambodian Organisation for Woman Support.

An
elderly woman exits a polling station after voting. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Prasith Sayasith, ambassador of Laos to Cambodia, said that he witnessed ballot


counting and noted that it was transparent.
“I can say that it was transparent,” he said. “I noticed that the voter list was very
clear.”
Sergey Sirotkin, an observer from Russia, hailed the national election as free of
violence.
“I observed seven polling stations and there was no intimidation or clashes,” he
said.
After meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday, Anton Caragea, chairman
of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, issued a statement saying that he
was witnessing firsthand an election that paved the way for functional democracy.

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“I can say in full confidence that the victory of the Cambodian People’s Party
under your outstanding leadership was the result of your vision, charisma and
powerful crafted development plans that will ensure Cambodia’s bright future,” he
said, boasting of Mr Hun Sen.

In a statement released yesterday, both Canada and the United States condemned
the election as neither free nor fair.
The US expressed regret that Sunday’s poll failed to represent the will of
Cambodian people.
“The flawed election, which excluded the country’s principal opposition party,
represents the most significant setback yet to the democratic system enshrined in
Cambodia’s constitution, and substantially erode Cambodia’s achievements in
promoting political reconciliation and economic growth since the 1991 Paris Peace
Agreement,” the White House press secretary said in a statement.
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop also expressed concerns over
the election.

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“Freedom of expression and association underpin democratic societies. Australia is
concerned the election took place in an environment where not all political parties,
civil society organisations and media could operate freely,” Ms Bishop said.
However, both China and Russia issued statements in support of the election.

“We extend our congratulations on the smooth and successful organisation of the
sixth National Assembly election of Cambodia, as well as on the victory of the
Cambodian People’s Party in the election,” a statement from the Chinese embassy
in Cambodia said.
“The election results reflect the choice of the Cambodian people,” it added. “We
hope that Cambodia can maintain the hard-earned momentum of peaceful and
stable development, and the Cambodian government and its people continue to
make new achievements in promoting economic and social development of the
country.”

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The FINAL ELECTION MONITORING REPORT FOR KINGDOM OF


CAMBODIA PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, JULY 29, 2018

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