CNRP Asks Canada to Clarify Stance on Election

Representatives of the opposition CNRP in Canada have sent a letter to the Canadian government asking that it clarify its stance on the results of Cambodia’s national election after a former Cabinet minister took part in an international observer team that deemed the elections free and fair.

Sheila Copps, who served as a Liberal Party deputy prime minister as recently as 1997, was part of a delegation from the Centrist Asia Pa­cific Democrats International, which, along with the In­ternational Con­­ference of Asian Po­litical Parties (ICAPP), was among the few groups of international ob­servers to monitor the July 28 ballot.

A joint statement from the two groups, which was posted to the website of the National Election Committee (NEC), described the election as “free, fair and transparent, and, above all, peaceful, non-violent and smooth, [which] bears testimony to the fact that Cambodian democracy has not only matured, but come of age politically.”

CNRP chief whip Son Chhay said Sunday that an opposition party activist in Canada has sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking for his government’s opinion on the results of Cambodia’s national ballot.

“She [Ms. Copps] was part of the government-sponsored group that observed the election. She was in the group that congratulated the government. Our Cam­bodian community there were very upset about it and sent a letter to the government to clarify their position,” Mr. Chhay said.

In an email sent on June 29, Chung Euiyong, secretary-general of the ICAPP, said that a group of monitors was invited in May to observe the election in Cambodia by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.

Only a handful of countries have endorsed the preliminary results of the election released by the NEC. Apart from neighbors including Vietnam, Burma and Laos, China, Hungary and Belarus are among the only countries to have officially recognized the CPP’s victory.

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