The legislative elections which took place in Cambodia on Sunday 23 July were conducted in a restricted political and civic space, where the opposition, civil society and the media were unable to function effectively without hindrance. We regret that these elections excluded important sectors of the opposition, due to criminal convictions of political leaders and the disqualification of the main opposition party, the Candlelight Party, which was not allowed to register to take part in the vote.
The European Union is concerned by the amendments to the electoral law adopted a few weeks before the vote, which restrict the right to freedom of speech and the right of all citizens to stand for election, and calls for the release of detained members of the opposition.
The European Union attaches paramount importance to the inclusivity, transparency and credibility of elections, which are the backbone of any democratic society. As a long-standing and trusted partner, including in the ASEAN context, the European Union continues to offer its support to genuine democratic efforts in Cambodia, while calling on the authorities to respect the fundamental rights of the Cambodian people, their Constitution and the international standards that Cambodia has signed up to.