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Observers: Cambodia election was free and fair

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Foreign observers attend the NEC's press conference after the election on Sunday. Heng Chivoan

Observers: Cambodia election was free and fair

Representatives of election observers from six countries and leaders of the National Election Committee (NEC) claimed that Sunday’s national elections were free, fair and transparent.

They also congratulated the 82 per cent of registered voters who turned up at the polls.

The statements were made at a press conference organised by the NEC at the Cambodiana Hotel on Monday, and included representatives from Malaysia, Russia, Laos, India, Thailand and Vietnam.

NECs spokesman Hang Puthea said at the event that people cast their ballots “happily” and that more people visited their polling stations in the morning.

He said only minor problems occurred because of flooding. Otherwise, all went well.

“The NEC primarily evaluated the election by saying it went smoothly with good security and order,” Puthea said.

Laos Ambassador to Cambodia Prasith Sayasith who also represented the international observers reiterated that the election was successful and stable and that everything was well organised.

Sergey Sirotkin, who represented election observers from Russia, congratulated the NEC for successfully arranging the election that provided a high turnout.

Other representatives of international observers and organisations also congratulated the Kingdom for carrying out democracy and freedom.

They included the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, International Conference of Asian Political Parties, Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International, Asian Parliamentary Assembly and Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

Separately, several NGOs and associations coordinated by the Civil Society Alliance Forum (CSAF) which monitored the vote held a press conference on Monday at Sofitel Hotel where it too confirmed that the election was free, fair and transparent.

CSAF chairman Khemreat Viseth said 93 NGOs and associations were engaged in the poll.

Peace and Development Aid Organisation executive director Choeun Vicheth which sent 12 staff to monitor for the first time, said: “The elderly and pregnant women were allowed to cast their ballots first ... the election list this time was very good,” he said.

Bros Kimseak, head of the student association, Intellectual Cambodia Asian, said her group sent 86 people to 67 elections offices across the country.

“I think parties have their rules and policies. In this mandate, even though there was no CNRP on the voting list, there were 20 political parties and there were a large number of people who came out to vote,” she said.

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