Leader of GDP calls on na­tions to mon­i­tor poll

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Kong Meta

EAR­LIER this week, the newly elected pres­i­dent of the Grass­roots Democ­racy Party (GDP), Yang Saing Koma, ap­pealed to sev­eral coun­tries to take part in mon­i­tor­ing the up­com­ing elec­tions.

Saing Koma, a well-known agri­cul­ture expert, said he trav­elled on Sunday to Bangkok to meet with am­bas­sadors from Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Bel­gium, Fin­land and Nor­way.

He said he has also met with United Na­tions of­fi­cials and am­bas­sadors from Ja­pan, France, Sin­ga­pore, Swe­den and the Eu­ro­pean Union (EU) in Ph­nom Penh.

“In to­tal we have met with 12 em­bassies. They in­vited us, we did not make any re­quests to meet them.

“They wanted to know about the GDP and why we have de­cided to par­tic­i­pate in the elec­tion and we ex­plained our party’s vi­sion. They also wanted to know if we had any re­quests for their govern­ments,” Saing Koma said.

Dur­ing the meet­ings, Saing Koma said he had en­quired about whether the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity would recog­nise the elec­tion re­sults and if they would send mon­i­tors.

“We asked for their opin­ion and po­si­tion on the elec­tion, and whether they will recog­nise it. We also asked about send­ing elec­tion ob­servers.

“We said we want them to ob­serve the elec­tion, ei­ther di­rectly or in­di­rectly. Di­rectly, they could send elec­tion ob­servers and in­di­rectly they can sup­port civil so­ci­eties in their elec­tion mon­i­tor­ing ef­forts,” he said.

He said a le­git­i­mate elec­tion should have more in­de­pen­dent en­ti­ties in­volved in bal­lot count­ing and the gen­eral elec­tion process.

Saing Koma said the am­bas­sadors and em­bassy of­fi­cials did not con­firm that they would recog­nise the elec­tion re­sults.

“They said they re­spect and ap­pre­ci­ate the will and de­ci­sion of Cam­bo­di­ans to vote . . . They re­spect the will of the peo­ple, but they would not say if they would recog­nise the elec­tion re­sults,” he said.

Mu Sochua, a for­mer Cam­bo­dia Na­tional Res­cue Party (CNRP) law­maker, said the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity had al­ready made it very clear that “if there is no real op­po­si­tion, the elec­tion will not be viewed as free and fair”.

She was re­fer­ring to the cour­tordered dis­so­lu­tion of the CNRP for al­legedly at­tempt­ing to over­throw the gov­ern­ment through a so-called colour rev­o­lu­tion aided by the US.

“The EU and the US have al­ready pulled out their fund­ing and sup­port for the Na­tional Elec­tion Com­mis­sion,” Sochua said.

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