Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Breaking: European Union suspends Cambodian election support

Breaking: European Union suspends Cambodian election support

Members of the National Election Committee meet with representatives of Japan, the US and the European Union last month in Phnom Penh.
Members of the National Election Committee meet with representatives of Japan, the US and the European Union last month in Phnom Penh. Facebook

Breaking: European Union suspends Cambodian election support

The European Union announced today that it is suspending all support for Cambodia’s National Election Committee, calling credible elections impossible in the current climate.

In a letter to the chairman of the NEC, Sik Bun Hok, EU Ambassador George Edgar cites the government’s recent crackdown on the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party – dissolved by the Supreme Court last month – as the reason for the suspension.

Since the commune elections, he writes, “a series of actions has been taken by the authorities against the main opposition party, which won 44.5% of the vote in the 2013 legislative election and 43.8% in the 2017 local elections”.

“The dissolution of the CNRP also means that it will not be able to run in the National Assembly elections in 2018. An electoral process from which the main opposition party has been arbitrarily excluded cannot be seen as legitimate,” the letter reads. “Under these circumstances, the European Union does not believe there is a possibility of a credible electoral process.”

The EU pledged €10 million to support the NEC for the 2017 local and 2018 national elections. It is unclear how much of that money remains to be disbursed, but Ambassador Edgar in an interview last week said that a large part had already been spent on equipment.

With this move, the EU becomes the second international partner to suspend its assistance for the NEC following the United States’ end of support last month.

Som Sorida, NEC deputy secretary-general, criticised the EU’s decision to link politics to NEC funding, though he insisted the election body would still be able to do its work as planned.

“NEC is ready to organise the next election,” he said, adding that Japan, China, South Korea and Russia would continue to support it.

Updates to follow.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the