Kao Kim Hourn, the secretary-general of ASEAN, is set to oversee the upcoming general election in Cambodia on July 23, as part of a delegation at the behest of the Kingdom’s senior diplomats, according to a recent ASEAN press release.

“Cambodia’s minister attached to the Prime Minister and standing secretary of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ouch Borith, has invited ASEAN secretary-general Kao Kim Hourn, along with an ASEAN Secretariat team, to observe the general election this Sunday, July 23,” it said.

The release further mentioned that Kim Hourn and his team will be monitoring key aspects of the election, including the opening of polling stations and the ballot-counting process. Kim Hourn, in addition to other observers, is also slated to meet Prime Minister Hun Sen as a courtesy.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, indicated to The Post that this initiative is also aimed at demonstrating Cambodia’s democratic electoral outcomes to the world, beyond just ASEAN.

“This is an opportunity to demonstrate to the world how Cambodia conducts its elections and to challenge allegations of autocracy. This election is closely observed and the ASEAN delegates contribute to this global narrative,” he said.

Hang Puthea, spokesman of the National Election Commitee (NEC), noted on July 18 that nearly 90,000 observers from 134 organisations and associations are ready to be dispatched to polling stations.

The NEC has also given accreditation to 84 international observers from 13 institutions and is still reviewing 126 additional observers from 17 institutions.

Puthea said seven special guests from four organisations have also been officially recognised by the committee to oversee the electoral process.

On July 18, NEC chairman Prach Chan had a meeting with Desire Nyaruhirira, special adviser to the secretary-general of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF).

Chan expressed that as an IOF member, Cambodia greatly values the presence of the Francophonie delegation, which reaffirms the strong ties between them.

He said the delegation’s current mission includes discussions with NEC, political parties and NGOs regarding the election process. They will subsequently publish a report that includes recommendations and identifies areas of improvement for Cambodia.

The NEC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of National Defence, has issued joint guidelines to ensure security, public order and safety during the electoral process.

Finally, Chan announced that preparations are in place for the successful execution of the July 23 election.