Following the invitation of the National Election Committee a delegation of the Centrist Democrat International (IDC-CDI) led by H.E. Mr. Andrés Pastrana, IDC-CDI President and Former President of Colombia, ten delegates from Columbia, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Italy, Brazil, and Cyprus came to Cambodia to observe the 2017 commune council election day and learn about the country’s democratization process.
Before Election Day, the IDC-CDI delegation met with Prime Minister Hun Sen and leaders of three key political parties including the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), the National United Front for an Independent, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia (Funcinpec) and the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). The IDC-CDI delegation met also with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, the Speaker of the Senate and were also briefed about the election and other political issues by the National Election Committee (NEC) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
On the Election Day, the IDC-CDI delegation visited a number of polling stations in Phnom Penh. We observed that people were free to vote for the political party of their choice. There was no sign of intimidation, coercion and violence at those polling stations. The Cambodian authorities guaranteed safety and security for voters, members of political parties, local and international observers and members of the media.
After the polling stations closed, the IDC-CDI delegation along with representatives from various political parties and local observers also took part in observing the vote counting process, which was assessed to be conducted in an open and transparent manner.
We welcome that the use of multiparty, free, fair and regular election as a democratic means to compete for public offices has become Cambodia’s destiny.
The IDC-CDI delegation would also like to congratulate the Cambodian people and its authorities on its efforts to introduce major political reforms such as reform to the NEC leadership, new Election Law, new Political Party Law, Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations, judicial reforms and decentralization. These reforms are critical to strengthening the rule of law and democracy in Cambodia.
After the ignomious sufferance of the recent history of the Cambodian people, its demonstration of a peaceful election campaign and its civic behavior on Election Day, together with a very high participation in the election, is a fantastic example to the world.
We encourage the Cambodian society, in particular its political stakeholders, to engage in a constructive dialogue, the only way to promote peace, democracy, stability, rule of law, more prosperity and social justice.
The IDC-CDI praises both the CPP and the Funcinpec, our sister parties, for their important role in all this process, defending the principles and values of our political family.