Responding to an announcement that Japan will not send observers to monitor the Kingdom’s upcoming national elections, Sam Rainsy said on Wednesday that it was a wake-up call for the government.
The spokesperson for the National Election Committee (NEC), however, said Japan was still providing support for the poll, while Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan said it was Japan’s business whether it participated or not.
Posting to Facebook on Wednesday after news broke that the Asian country would not send monitors to the Kingdom, Rainsy, a former leader of the court dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party said now only a few nations have shown their support of the poll.
“The withdrawal of Japan is another event that reminds people wanting to vote to rethink and decide to boycott the election just as many Cambodians [have] decided to boycott the election because they love democracy, freedom and justice,” he said.
However, the NEC pointed out that over 160,000 representatives of political parties and NGOs will be monitoring the polls alongside 900 national and international journalists and 213 observers from foreign nations.
It said on Thursday that the election will proceed without Japanese monitors. It said that, despite the move, Japan has assisted in preparations for the July 29 poll.
“This is just diplomatic language to avoid being in the top position facilitating the election in Cambodia. The fact is that Japan helps a lot with the preparation for the election.
“From the registration to public education and the maintenance of a voter registry,” Hang Puthea, the NEC’s spokesman, said.
He said Japan does not interfere in Cambodian’s political affairs the way some other countries do.
“Japan is Cambodia’s real friend. It provides aid in terms of materials and its spirit of friendship in the election process in Cambodia,” he said, contrasting the country with the European Union, which pulled out all forms of election aid earlier this year.
Eysan who dismissed Japan’s move not to participate said: “We wait to see the reality because [election] day has not arrived yet.
“I have not seen Japan change its stance yet … we need to wait and see because I have not received any information yet. It is their business to participate or not.”