Canada troubled by undemocratic elections in Cambodia
Ottawa – Global Affairs Canada today issued the following statement on the elections in Cambodia:
“Today, incumbent prime minister Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party retained power after the country’s general elections. The election campaign was widely recognized to have been marred by voter intimidation and manipulation of the polls. The use of the judiciary to harass, intimidate and eliminate the opposition—including the leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, Kem Sokha, who remains imprisoned—and to repress civil society and the press is not a mark of free, fair and just elections.
“Canada is a long-time friend of the people of Cambodia and strongly supports their right to freely choose their leaders. We continue to call on the government to allow basic civil rights for the people of Cambodia, reinstate freedom of expression and political participation and release opposition leader Kem Sokha, who has been held in jail for almost 11 months without bail.
“Protecting space for civil society and ensuring all citizens are able to peacefully participate in the electoral process are hallmarks of a strong and healthy democracy. The media also play an essential role in defending democracy in Cambodia and elsewhere. Canada will continue to use every opportunity to promote freedom of expression and political participation around the world.”