“The electoral body does not have any preferential treatment for any one political party,” stated the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in a press statement made public last night.
The full press statement reads as follows:
“The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation dismisses the misleading and politicised remarks by a handful of critics over the electoral registration process in Cambodia. Based on the explanations and decisions of the National Election Committee (NEC), the Spokesperson wishes to offer clarifications as follows:
1. A political party's failed registration is solely the result of its non-compliance with the electoral laws, regulations, and notifications of the NEC. In accordance with Article 27 of the Law on Election of Members of the National Assembly, and the NEC's Notifications dated 26 April 2018 and 05 April 2023 respectively, to officially register the political party running for the election of members of the National Assembly, a political party shall submit to the NEC an application for registration of political party running for the election in a form approved by the NEC and shall provide, among others, a certified copy of the certificate of registration of the political party issued by the Ministry of Interior.
2. Every political party has adequate preparatory time to apply for such a document as the voting date was publicly declared one year in advance. Moreover, to facilitate this administrative work, a certified copy of the original certificate of registration is provided free of charge by the sub-national authorities concerned. In order to provide a free, fair, just, and transparent voting process, the NEC does not have any preferential treatment for any one political party over the 18 other contenders.
3. The very fact of this registration failure relates to incomplete documentation and such a shortcoming should be borne by that political party's leadership as admitted by one of its Vice Presidents. He further asserted, "The call for protests against the NEC's decision is a grave mistake." As part of the check- and-balance system, the technical decision of the NEC can be appealed to the Constitutional Council.
4. The absence of one political party from the electoral process due to its negligence in complying with the legislation does not affect the liberal, pluralistic, and democratic nature of the country as voters are still able to choose freely among at least 18 contesting political parties.”
Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse