Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng: ‘Justice has won’



Sar Kheng: ‘Justice has won’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng thanked the government of Japan for its technical support during the July 29 national elections. Heng Chivoan

Sar Kheng: ‘Justice has won’

There was an effort by foreign powers to delegitimise Cambodia’s national elections, Deputy Prime Ministry Sar Kheng told a crowd over the weekend, but he made it clear the effort had failed.

The remark came in Sar Kheng’s closing address at the end of a two-day National Election Committee (NEC) assembly in Kampot province which focused on the July 29 national election.

Sar Kheng conceded that some countries had criticised the poll, but the international community overall had been fair to Cambodia. He also thanked the Japanese government for its technical support during the elections.

But Sar Kheng’s main message was about unnamed detractors from abroad. He stressed that there had been an outside movement to put pressure and sanctions on Cambodia in a bid to deny the legitimacy of the election results as well as the new government.

“However, we can all see that justice has won. It means that countries from all over the world gave justice to Cambodia and the Cambodian people because voter turnout was 83.02 per cent. This is not normal."

“If people are not content or supported the democratic election, they would not have participated in it, or they would have destroyed election ballots. This might cause the election to become unacceptable. But in this election there was only a small number of invalid ballots,” he said.

He said that is why countries who are friends with Cambodia provided justice to it and the Cambodian people which cannot be denied. “If they denied 83.02 per cent of voter turnout, it means they do not recognise democracy, freedom, and decisions made by the Cambodian people,” he said.

Sar Kheng said Cambodia had received congratulatory letters and promises of further cooperation from Western countries, but there were still problems to be resolved through international cooperation.

He did not elaborate on the problems he referred to, but said that solving them should “follow the principle of mutual respect”.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said congratulatory letters from foreign leaders were used by the government to prove that the election was legitimate.

“Any gesture of support would be cited in order to boost the legitimacy of the recent election and of the government, as well as to challenge any claim that they are not,” he said.

Sar Kheng said the government still has some key challenges, such as maintaining peace, political stability and social order, as well as guaranteeing the independence of the NEC. He thanked the countries that had supported Cambodia’s elections since 1998. He saved his kindest words for Japan.

“The Japanese government supported the technical aspects of our electoral reform and, as the result, made it satisfactory for Cambodians as a whole."

“On behalf of the government and the Cambodian people, I would like to express my profound thanks to the Japanese government, the people of Japan and all their technicians who supported the sixth mandate,” he said.

The July 29 election saw the Cambodian People’s Party win all 125 seats in parliament. Sar Kheng said 26 countries sent letters to Prime Minister Hun Sen congratulating him on the victory and expressing their commitment to cooperate with the new government.

Germany and France offered to help facilitate a dialogue with the opposition if the Cambodian government needed them.

The European Parliament recently passed a resolution that called on Cambodia to drop charges against jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha or face trade sanctions.

But local media reported on Friday that George Edgar, the EU ambassador to Cambodia, said the EU would continue to cooperate with Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last