៣១ មីនា ២០២៣ / 31 March 2023
សេចក្តីថ្លែងការណ៍ គណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ ស្តីពីការបោះឆ្នោត ថ្ងៃ ២៣ កក្កដា ២០២៣
ក្នុងសេចក្តីថ្លែងការណ៍នេះ លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ក្នុងឋានៈជាប្រធានស្តីទីគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ ស្នើកុំឲ្យអន្តរជាតិបញ្ជូនអ្នកសង្កេតការណ៍ មកឃ្លាំមើលការបោះឆ្នោតខាងមុខនេះ ពីព្រោះវាគ្មានប្រយោជន៍អ្វីទេ ដោយសារតែការបោះឆ្នោតខាងមុខនេះ ដូចជាការបោះឆ្នោត ឆ្នាំមុនៗអញ្ចឹងដែរ គឺជាការបោះឆ្នោតក្លែងក្លាយ រៀបចំទាំងស្រុងដោយគណបក្សកាន់អំណាច ដើម្បីគ្រាន់តែរក្សាអំណាចផ្តាច់ការ ឲ្យ ហ៊ុន សែន។
តាមព័ត៌មានចុងក្រោយ ដែលយើងទទួលបាន ទាំងប្រទេសបារាំង ទាំងសហភាពអឺរ៉ុបទាំងមូល ទាំងប្រទេសជប៉ុន ឬប្រទេសណាមួយទៀត ដែលកាន់លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យពិតប្រាកដ ក្នុងពិភពលោក គេសម្រេចមិនបញ្ជូនអ្នកសង្កេតការណ៍ មកឃ្លាំមើលការបោះឆ្នោត ថ្ងៃ ២៣ កក្កដា ២០២៣ នេះទេ ពីព្រោះគេយល់ថាជាការបោះឆ្នោតក្លែងក្លាយ ដូចអ្វីដែលលោក សម រង្ស៊ី បានលើកឡើង ហើយគេក៏មិនផ្តល់ភាពស្របច្បាប់ ឲ្យទៅរបបផ្តាច់ការ នៅទីក្រុងភ្នំពេញ ទោះជាដឹកនាំដោយ ហ៊ុន សែន ខ្លួនឯងក៏ដោយ ឬ កូនគាត់ណាម្នាក់ក៏ដោយ។
March 31, 2023
CAMBODIA: UPSTREAM MEASURES FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTION NEEDED TO JUSTIFY INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS
The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) welcomes the resolution adopted on March 16 by the European Parliament (EP) in favour of free and fair elections in our country.
National elections are scheduled for July 23. The EP resolution notes the basic steps which must be taken to facilitate a genuine election, such as the immediate and unconditional release of CNRP leader Kem Sokha and all the other opposition members and civil society activists being held on politically motivated charges.
Kem Sokha’s acquittal would mean the reinstatement of the CNRP as the false charge laid against him was the basis for the dissolution of the CNRP in 2017. CNRP leaders in exile must be allowed to safely return before the campaign period.
Free and fair elections are not something which can spontaneously occur on the day of the vote. They presuppose a level playing field in the run up to the election, and Cambodia has only a narrow timeframe to adopt the changes which would create this.
The benchmarks for free and fair elections go beyond what is included in the EP resolution.
The National Election Committee (NEC) is currently dominated by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). It must be reformed to make it a neutral organ, capable of meeting its stated purpose. The NEC must be willing to accept recommendations from the opposition and from civil society.
Intimidation and arbitrary arrests of members of Candlelight Party, the opposition party which gained 22% of the votes at the 2022 local elections in the face of systematic intimidation and a vote-counting process carried out by the CPP behind closed doors, must stop.
The free press which has been dismantled, most recently with the closure of Voice of Democracy, must be restored immediately.
The integrity of the voting lists used needs to be dramatically improved. The Hun Sen regime has a long history of manipulating these lists to its advantage even when the opposition has been allowed to stand.
The Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel) found in April 2013 that 13.5% of registered voters, or 1.25 million citizens, were not on the voter lists for the elections. Nearly two-thirds of these disenfranchised people were women. These findings were confirmed in July 2013 by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which found that almost 11% of eligible voters believed themselves to be registered, but in fact were not. The NDI further found that over 10% of names on the voters' list were invalid. No serious measures have been taken since to address these flaws.
There must be a comprehensive program of public information and education to encourage people to participate in elections. All parties must have equal opportunity to display their signs, and civil society must be free to carry out voter education without interference by local authorities.
On the day of the election, party agents must be allowed to represent their respective parties without being intimidated. For a genuine election, vote counting needs to take place in public view.
In principle we welcome the presence of international observers. But they must be aware of the preceding context of what unfolds on voting day.
A smooth and peaceful process on the day does not in itself mean a free and fair election. International observers should arrive no later than three months before voting day. To arrive at the last minute will be to risk being used as a tool by the regime to validate a fake election, the non-competitive parameters of which have been established well in advance.
But there is no point being under any illusions as to the value of international observers when a system of institutionalised cheating has been put in place by a dictatorial regime. How can a few hundred observers at most really observe what happens all day in more than 23,000 voting centres scattered across the whole country?
For the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP)
Sam Rainsy, acting leader