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Ministry Vows to Protect Voter Rights Amid Party Withdrawal Warning

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - The Ministry of Interior has reiterated the Cambodian government's commitment to safeguarding voter rights, amid warnings from a political party about withdrawing commune council members who do not align with their directives.

This statement of assurance was prompted by reports of a party, not explicitly named by the Ministry but believed to be the Candlelight Party, allegedly exerting pressure on commune councilors to support a specific political faction. Furthermore, it was reported that this party threatened to expel members and remove them from their positions as commune councilors if they failed to comply with the voting expectations.

The Ministry has condemned such actions as coercion and intimidation of voters, highlighting them as clear violations of the rights afforded to voters under the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Law on the Election of Senators, and other pertinent laws and regulations. These rights ensure that voters can freely make their decisions in the election of senators without undue influence.

In a press release dated February 15, the Ministry emphasized, "The change of commune councilors is always conducted in strict adherence to the prevailing laws and regulations." It further urged all political parties registered under the Law on Political Parties to respect and follow the existing legal framework. This is to guarantee that elections are conducted in a manner that is free, fair, and just, aligning with the principles of a liberal, multi-party democracy as enshrined in the Cambodian Constitution.

The Ministry's declaration serves as a reminder of the fundamental democratic principles that govern the electoral process in Cambodia, reinforcing the importance of a free and fair electoral environment.

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