Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng recently underscored the significance of democracy and elections in preserving the dignity and prosperity of a nation.

Speaking at an August 15 meeting in Battambang province, he highlighted that these processes should protect, not destabilise, a country.

“Democracy and elections are about safeguarding the nation and its people, allowing them to thrive with dignity and according to the voters’ will. It’s not a process to throw the nation into chaos due to political disagreements,” he said.

Sar Kheng touted Cambodia’s democratic journey, saying that since 1993, the Kingdom has conducted 18 elections adhering to the principles of liberal democracy, pluralism, the Constitution and electoral laws.

Globally, no election is without flaws, he said while pointing out that the recent general election in Cambodia was a notable success, with a voter turnout of 84.59 per cent.

“The people voted freely and orderly, without any intimidation. Political parties participated with maturity and respect,” he added.

Looking forward, Sar Kheng expressed optimism about the nation’s democratic future.

“Based on our achievements, I’m confident our democratic processes will only get better,” he remarked.

National Election Committee chairman Prach Chan echoed the sentiment. He noted that prior successful national and international events in Cambodia created a favourable environment for the last commune and general elections. The elections, he said, were undeterred by Covid-19, thanks to successful vaccination campaigns.

Chan praised the electoral process, emphasising its robustness and transparency.

“Political parties and national observation organisations have applauded the [2023] election. International observers deemed it safe, unbiased and transparent,” he noted.

He said this was another milestone in Cambodia’s journey of democratic progress and electoral reform.