New Zealand expresses concern over Cambodia’s elections
Foreign Minister Winston Peters has expressed New Zealand’s concern over Cambodia’s general elections in which the main opposition party was excluded.
“For Cambodia to have legitimate democracy it is essential that opposition voices can be heard. New Zealand calls on Prime Minister Hun Sen to reinstate the main opposition party and release all political prisoners, including opposition leader Kem Sokha,” Mr Peters said.
In the lead up to the elections, Cambodia’s Supreme Court dissolved the main opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), and its leader Kem Sokha was imprisoned. Without the main opposition party participating, the election resulted in a landslide victory for the governing party.
“New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Cambodia and has invested considerable effort in supporting Cambodia’s UN-supervised transition to democracy in the early 1990s.
“We stand ready to work with Cambodian partners to restore its democratic institutions and processes to allow free and fair elections to be held,” he said.