Cambodia Says 50,000 Observers Will Monitor July Ballot, Despite Widespread Criticism

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Photo: upr8 (Pixabay).

Cambodia’s top electoral body on Wednesday said it had accepted more than 50,000 observers—including from Myanmar, Singapore and China—to monitor next month’s general election, despite criticism that it cannot be either free or fair without the participation of the main opposition party.

In a statement, the National Election Committee (NEC) said it had officially recognized 50,658 national observers and 17 international observers from Myanmar, Singapore and China for Cambodia’s July 29 election, and that it is reviewing applications from 800 others.

The NEC will accept applications from national observers until July 18 and from international observers until July 25, the statement said, adding that the committee will not accept requests to monitor the vote from Cambodian commune councilors, village chiefs or their assistants, candidates for the election, or members of the armed forces.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea told reporters that the committee would accept applications for international observers from any country, regardless of its political system.

“We are not biased toward any country because all are working towards democracy,” he said.

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Reported by RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

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