Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - German think tank labels polls a ‘farce’




German think tank labels polls a ‘farce’

German think tank labels polls a ‘farce’

A German public policy think tank has claimed that the July 29 national elections will not be democratic and a “farce” without the participation of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party.

In an article published on its website last week, Heinrich Böll Foundation country director Ali Al-Nasani called the coming elections undemocratic.

Reacting strongly to the article, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan dismissed its author as “democratically blind”.

Al-Nasani claimed the democratic space in the Kingdom had been reduced, citing allegations of an opposition crackdown, the closure of radio stations and newspapers and the monitoring of critical voices on social media.

“With the massive restrictions on democratic freedoms, the positive developments of the last years have been cut back again,” he alleged.

He highlighted the government’s threats to dissolve all NGOs that are not politically neutral. “[Remaining] politically neutral is, in this sense, interpreted as being mute,” he said.

Although there are 19 parties competing with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), Al-Nasani said they were largely unknown.

“The national elections at the end of July, without the participation of the major opposition [CNRP], [will] be a farce,” he said.

Siphan shot back, saying: “This is an insult and an attack on Cambodian democracy. We have 19 parties competing with the CPP. It is the right of the people to compete for power. This is the foundation of democracy.

“The election is competitive. The person who wrote this is not correct. He is the one who is blind [regarding] democracy. He doesn’t understand democracy in Cambodia,” he said.

Defending the ruling on the CNRP, Siphan continued: “The court can dissolve any party [with a case] based on fact and legal provision.

“The claim that the elections will be a farce is an insult to the Cambodian nation. The person who said this is against all Cambodians, not just democracy.”

He added that Cambodia didn’t need the support of “such people” because the Kingdom is a sovereign state where people have full rights to elect their leaders.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Police arrest 29 Chinese for kidnapping in capital

    Phnom Penh Military Police arrested 29 Chinese nationals on kidnapping charges on Wednesday. The suspects are said to have abducted three other Chinese nationals from a hotel in Chaktomuk commune, Daun Penh district. The operation took place on Wednesday and was led by two deputy commanders –

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia