Target: Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen
Goal: Form an independent committee, including United Nations officials, to investigate alleged voting fraud
In the past, opponents of the ruling party of Cambodia, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), have frequently alleged that elections were rigged in the CPP’s favor. This year, however, a huge number of reports from various independent individuals have begun to validate suspicions that elections in Cambodia are not entirely fair. The government of Cambodia should take action by forming an independent committee of experts, including United Nations officials, to investigate the alleged fraud.
A system exists in Cambodia whereby individuals who would not be able to vote due to a lack of proper documentation (a common problem in developing democracies) can apply for an “Identity Certificate for Elections,” which allows the individual to vote so long as their name appears on local registration lists. This is a vital system for maintaining accurate voter demographics in Cambodia; however, it appears that the CPP has begun to abuse it by issuing Identity Certificates to dead or missing individuals. They have also allegedly arranged for soldiers and their families to vote multiple times using fake Identity Certificates.
More serious charges include a rash of high-ranking CPP officials voting in multiple small villages, and threatening with violence those that would report their crimes. This is backed up by official National Election Commission website database, which shows multiple high-ranking CPP officials and members of their entourages registered to vote as many as four or five times. There have also been numerous allegations that hired thugs strong-armed villages into voting for CPP candidates, possibly under orders from wealthy party supporters.
Election fraud is one of the most serious dangers to a functional democratic society, as it puts in jeopardy the entire mechanism on which such a system rests. We must urge the Cambodian government to form an independent, United Nations-centered commission to investigate this alleged fraud, identify those responsible, and hold nation-wide reelections if necessary.
Dear Prime Minister Hun Sen,
Following this year’s election, many independent sources are claiming a variety of crimes were committed by the CPP in an effort to win the election. These include the issuance of fraudulent identities and hiring armed men to ensure that individuals voted for CPP officials. Even the National Election Commission website seems to indicate that election fraud was taking place, as many CPP officials have been registered to vote as many as four or five times.
Election fraud is one of the most serious dangers to a functional democratic society, as it puts in jeopardy the entire mechanism on which such a system rests. The Cambodian government should form an independent, United Nations-centered commission to investigate this alleged fraud, identify those responsible, and hold nation-wide reelections if necessary.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: Brett Matthews via Wikimedia Commons