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

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the