Interior Minister Sar Kheng has slammed the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) which organised the 1993 elections.
He said there were irregularities under UNTAC’s supervision of the polls, and despite spending $2 billion to bring democracy and peace to the country, war still prevailed.
He made his remarks when hitting back at the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith. She had urged the government to stop intimidating voters and respect citizens’ rights.
During a meeting on Sunday with Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) members in Prey Veng province’s Preah Sdach district, Kheng asked: “The $2 billion that the United Nations spent . . . what did it achieve?
“Cambodia was still disunited and [there was] war. That [election] was organised by UNTAC. At that time, we had a huge number of complaints."
“[UNTAC] transported ballot boxes by aeroplane and did not allow party observers to follow. [The ballot boxes] were kept in a safe place. Party agents were allowed to enter from 8am to 5pm or 6pm only, and in the end the ballot papers were all ticked,” he said.
The UN could not be contacted for comment regarding Kheng’s allegations.
Political analyst Meas Ny said that the UN has helped Cambodia by bringing peace and stability, and that it had helped organise elections that were internationally recognised.
“If the UN did not help, the fighting in Cambodia will still be going on today and [so] we have to acknowledge its help.”