The National Election Committee’s (NEC) “successful” holding of the 2023 general election reflected the proper implementation of the Kingdom’s Constitution, laws and relevant legal documents, said NEC vice-chairman Nuth Sokhom as he addressed an August 14 meeting held to summarise the electoral work.

“I was extremely proud of our achievements and how they were accomplished based on respect and proper implementation of the Constitution, laws and legal documents relevant to the election, along with our electoral calendar and master plan, as well as certain other legal standards,” he added.

He explained that the NEC had registered over 9.7 million people and 18 political parties for the election. It accredited and recognised 57,012 political agents and 89,562 domestic electoral observers from 134 associations and NGOs, as well as 604 international observers. The NEC also invited 24 international delegates.

“Despite efforts by activists to incite people to boycott the election or spoil their ballots, over 8.2 million voters turned out for the polls, or about 84.59 per cent of registered voters. They exercised their right to vote in an election that was safe and free from intimidation, threats or violence,” he added.

Sam Kuntheamy , executive director of the NGO Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC) who also attended the meeting, noted that Sokhom’s pride was slightly excessive, as very few elections ever went perfectly, whether in Cambodia or an advanced democracy like the US.

“Sokhom described all points of the electoral conduct as positive, including the observers and the political parties and the voters. Everything was good, but nothing is perfect. Many advanced and democratic countries are not that perfect. For example, the elections in the US or Australia are not that perfect,” he added.

NEC spokesman Som Sorida explained that the general election was conducted in a transparent and perfect manner through the use of modern technology, which aided electoral officials at all levels.

“This election reflected the successful development of Cambodia’s socio-economic and political situations, security and public health. This made it easier and opened up the democratic space for qualified political parties to contest the election freely and equally,” he added.

The meeting was held for two days on August 14-15, and was also attended by Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and senior officials from the NEC.