Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A need for US election monitors




A need for US election monitors

A need for US election monitors

Now Cambodia’s national elections have concluded peacefully, the Kingdom’s politicians, civil society and other opinion leaders may be able to make an important contribution to the maintenance or development of democracy in other countries.

The United States is scheduled to hold elections for all of its House of Representatives and one-third of its Senate in November.

The conditions under which these elections will be held are a matter of considerable and increasing dispute.

The opposition Democratic Party has accused legislators of the currently ruling Republican Party of manipulating electoral boundaries (“gerrymandering”) to the latter’s advantage. Many Democrats also charge that the Republicans have accepted illegitimate assistance from foreign countries, mainly Russia, and have violated traditional legislative rules in order to fill the courts with political allies.

On the other side, the Republicans accuse the Democrats of encouraging voting by people who are not US citizens or are disqualified from voting for other reasons.

President Donald Trump has many times publicly proclaimed that five million foreign citizens voted illegally in the country’s 2016 election.

Furthermore, many aspects of US elections are conducted by computer systems whose operations are not at all transparent, and which may be subject to hacking.

In this polarised situation, it seems certain that whichever party fares less well in the November elections will denounce the result as illegitimate, which can only increase the level of mutual hostility.

But perhaps Cambodia could help to defuse the situation, even if only a little, by providing monitors to observe and report on the conduct of the upcoming elections.

Of course, it is too late for monitors from Cambodia or any other countries to push for changes in US laws that often allow a minority of voters to elect the President or a majority of the House of Representatives and Senate, especially since both major parties seem to regard these undemocratic provisions as sacrosanct.

However, the presence of impartial Cambodian and other monitors might help to give the US elections a legitimacy that would otherwise be denied by the losing side.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there