Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng calls for honest, conscientious national election

Sar Kheng calls for honest, conscientious national election

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Interior minister Sar Kheng presides over the closing ceremony of the 5th-mandate commune council elections in Preah Sihanouk province on July 7. INTERIOR MINISTRY

Sar Kheng calls for honest, conscientious national election

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has urged all stakeholders in the 2023 national election to conduct it in a conscientious, honest and responsible manner to promote democracy in Cambodia.

The call came at a July 6-7 meeting to review the recent commune council elections. He said the Kingdom is now able to draw on the lessons of 17 sub-national and national elections.

He reminded participants that their conduct was closely related to the dignity and best interests of Cambodia and its people. The commune elections, he said, were held according to the principles of liberal democracy and pluralism, and was strongly contested between the candidates of many parties.

He said the government is committed to making sure that the general election on July 23 next year is free, fair and safe.

“The government and I personally urge everyone involved to remember that we are laying the foundation for continued peace, security and development,” he said.

Cambodian Youth Party secretary-general Chhon Chanthorn, who attended the meeting, told The Post on July 7 that Sar Kheng’s appeal was a good reminder to keep Cambodian democracy strong. But he said this depends on practical enforcement by officials in the future.

“To promote democracy in Cambodia, we are ready to contest the 2023 national election. We will observe the Electoral Law and procedures of the National Election Committee [NEC],” he said.

Sam Sokuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), welcomed the appeal, saying that civil society organisations also want to see elections run smoothly.

He noted that the June 5 commune elections went smoothly and were free from violence. He wanted next year’s election to go as well.

However, he echoed Chanthorn’s comment, saying that Sar Kheng’s appeal alone is not enough. The interior minister, he said, should take practical measures at the grass roots levels because candidate registration and election campaigns on the ground remained problematic.

NEC spokesman Som Sorida said on July 7 that the national election body will continue to honour the spirit of the Constitution and all electoral laws.

He said NEC had played an important role, but at the same time, other stakeholders which participated in the elections had to fulfil their duties as well.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’