Crystal Clear

Khmers come together to pay their respects to King Norodom Sihanouk, a few months before the 2013 Cambodian elections.
"A man who is honest has nothing to hide".

The last Cambodian elections have been fraught with controversy amidst widespread allegations of cheating, vote-buying and military coercion. Numerous local civic groups, as well the international community, have long been clamoring for transparency from the government.

Transparency is a very important aspect of good governance, but international media reports that it appears to be lacking in Cambodia, especially in the deadlock of the recent national elections and subsequent talks to overcome it. There has been a strong demand from its people for a Joint Committee to review the results of the vote; however, this request has yet received no answer from its ruling government.

In the past months alone, tens of thousands of people have gone to the streets, most of them part of the youth sector, to support the impartial election tribunal. In a struggling nation like Cambodia, with approximately 4 million people living on less than USD1.25 per day, this mass participation highlights an important change in Cambodian society: people are getting more involved. The advent of more-accessible technology, coupled with a wider range of information availability, set in a culture historically known for unspeakable hardships and oppressions, has driven widespread participation from the Khmer citizenry. We hope that the Cambodian government will be responsive and proactive for its part.

We at ANSA-EAP support the Khmer bid for an independent probe to investigate the alleged electoral fraud on a massive scale. We believe in good governance through social accountability: the people and the government working side by side in order to achieve sustainable development, the protection of welfare and the promotion of human rights. Not only will such actions get the support of the Cambodians, these will also bolster international relations and intercountry trade.