Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - EU election team sees ‘window of opportunity’



EU election team sees ‘window of opportunity’

EU election team sees ‘window of opportunity’

As the European Union considers future support for the Kingdom’s elections, a mission dispatched to Cambodia said yesterday that recent reforms have created a “window of opportunity” for greater democracy.

At a press conference, EU officials discussed the results of an “Election Follow-Up Mission”, which was held to assess current electoral reforms, and to see how previous concerns and recommendations had been addressed.

Mission head Silvio Gonzanto said he had been “encouraged by steps” taken towards reform, which include the creation of the new National Election Committee (NEC).

He said the trip had offered pointers “as to the practical and financial support we can provide” to the NEC, though, he added, decisions had not yet been reached on either.

“If we spend money, it is to ensure that the election and the election result reflect the will of the Cambodian people … otherwise, we would be wasting our money”.

The mission noted that there are “many challenges ahead”, including the creation of a new Secretariat, establishing local “independent electoral structures”, and the “critical issue” of creating a new and reliable voter database.

All steps, Gonzanto said, should be taken in a “transparent manner”.

As well as noting several concerns with the new Law on the Election of Members of the National Assembly, the mission said it had discussed other proposed legislation – including the controversial NGO Law – on its visit.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with introducing some regulations for this sector,” Gonzanto said. But “it should not be to the detriment of freedom of association”.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to