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Statement of the Observation Delegation CDI on the Election of the Commune-Sangkat Councils in Cambodia

Phnom Penh: A Statement released from Centrist Democrats International (CDI), 6 June, 2022 with their findings of the commune/Sangkat Elections held on the 5th June 2022.

Hon Andre Pastrana Arango, Mr. Cesar Mateo Rossello Lopez, Mr. Riccardo Pozzi.

At the invitation of the Cambodia's National Election Committee (NEC), a high -level delegation of the CDI led by H.E. Mr. Andres Pastrana, CDI President and Former President of Colombia, joined by other delegates from different countries, travelled to Cambodia to observe the 2022 commune council election held on 5th June, 2022 .

Before the Election Day, and as part of an intensive program of activities, the CDI delegation met with Prime Minister Hun Sen, at his invitation, to exchange views and updates on the political situation in Cambodia.

The CDI delegation also attended a workshop on Democratic Process and Elections in Cambodia organized by the Civil Society Alliance Forum, which was joined by about 70 other international observers and representatives from the NEC, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

On the Election Day, the CDI delegation observed the voting process at numerous polling stations in Ta Khmao and Phnom Penh. CDI delegates witnessed the opening of a polling station and confirmed all formalities were properly followed.

Through our first-hand experience in the election observation, we took note of the following:

The elector al materials, partly donated by Japan, are fully in line with the elector al requirements of this type of balloting system and the election law.

Voters were free to vote for the political party of their choice. There was no sign of intimidation, coercion or violence at any of the visit polling stations.

The Cambodian authorities guaranteed safety and security for voters, members of political parties, local and international observers and members of the media. The election process was well organized in all the polling stations we visited.

Either with or without the presence of international observers at each polling station we visited, we have generally noted the presence of national observers and representatives of different Cambodian civil society organizations.

The high turnout rate, close to 78% -nearly 7.1 million of the total 9.2 million registered voters- illustrates the willingness of Cambodians to fully invest in the political future of their country. Before the polling stations were opened, there was already a strong presence of voters awaiting the opening to participate in the electoral process.

It is important to mention that no CDI delegate observed or was notified of any irregularities during the election day.

The election atmosphere was peaceful and the police presence adapted to a fair measure.

The presence of CDI delegates at the polling stations was warmly welcomed during their unannounced visits to the polling stations.

After the polling stations closed at 3pm, the CDI delegates also took part in observing the vote counting process, which was assessed to be conducted in an open and transparent manner.

The CDI delegation would like to congratulate the Cambodian people and all participating political parties, along with the National Electoral Committee (NEC) on their efforts to contribute to strengthening the rule of law and democracy in Cambodia.

Noting that the parliamentary elections will be held in 2023, the CDI once again encourages the Cambodian civil society and the political parties, to strengthen democracy through open and constructive dialogue inter-par ties, the only way to promote peace, stability, rule of law and social justice.

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