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Smooth Campaigning Marks Senate Elections Amidst Allegations of Intimidation

Phnom Penh: According to a January 15 statement by Mr. Dim Sovannarom, the five-day campaign period for the Senate election (February 10-23, 2024) has progressed smoothly thus far. Registered political parties are actively campaigning across the nation, presenting their programs and utilizing resources within the established electoral regulations.

The Election Commissions at various levels, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, have ensured the facilitation, security, and safety of the political parties, allowing them to conduct their electoral campaigns seamlessly.

However, the National Election Committee (NEC) has raised concerns over reports of intimidation by a political party not registered for the current election cycle. This party has allegedly been pressuring commune/Sangkat councilors and voters, undermining the integrity of the voting process, violating the secrecy of the ballot, and potentially eroding public trust in the electoral system.

Article 71 of the Law on the Election of Members of the National Assembly, which is also applicable to the Senate elections, explicitly prohibits all political parties, candidates, or supporters from threatening, intimidating, or enticing voters in any form that would compromise the free expression of voter preference.

The NEC has issued a stern warning to the implicated party, urging an immediate cessation of these illegal practices to preserve the election's integrity. The committee has also made it clear that legal actions will be pursued against any further unauthorized activities, underscoring the importance of election secrecy as a fundamental democratic principle.

The NEC's call to action highlights the commitment to ensuring that the Senate election campaign and subsequent voting process are conducted in a fair, free, and transparent manner, reflecting the true democratic spirit of Cambodia.

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