Pakistan, Sweden: no major violence seen in Cambodia's election campaigns

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-7-15 14:42:45

Pakistan and Sweden on Monday said no major violence has been observed in election campaigns for Cambodia's fifth National Assembly elections, which would be held on July 28.

Speaking at a meeting with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, Amjad Ali Sher, newly-designated ambassador of Pakistan to Cambodia, said he observed that the election campaigns towards the polls have been conducting smoothly without any remarkable violence.

"We hope that the elections will be held successfully," he said, adding that the government of Pakistan is considering sending observers to Cambodia for the elections.

Meanwhile, the ambassador said that after the elections, Pakistan and Cambodia should exchange high-level visits in order to bolster bilateral ties.

He said Pakistan would invite Hor Namhong and Prime Minister Hun Sen for official visits to Pakistan, and hopes Cambodia will also invite Pakistani officials to visit.

On the same day, Hor Namhong met with outgoing Ambassador of Sweden to Cambodia Anne Hoglund.

During the meeting, Anne Hoglund said the government of Sweden has been closely monitoring the election process in Cambodia and noticed no prominent violence during the election campaigns.

She said the government of Sweden welcomed the royal pardon granted to Sam Rainsy, leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, which allowed him to return from self-imposed exile in France to take part in the upcoming elections.

Hor Namhong said Cambodia is committed to conducting a free, fair and democratic election, adding that there are currently hundreds of non-governmental organizations working in Cambodia in the fields of democracy and human rights.

Sam Rainsy, who had been in self-imposed exile in France for 4 years to avoid an 11-year jail term, announced last Saturday that he would arrive at the Phnom Penh International Airport on July 19 after receiving a royal pardon from King Norodom Sihamoni last Friday.

Eight political parties will compete in the forthcoming elections with about 9.67 million eligible voters.

Two main parties are the ruling Cambodian People's Party of incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen and the opposition party of Sam Rainsy.

Hun Sen's party is widely expected to win the majority in the upcoming elections.

One of the world's longest-serving leaders, Hun Sen, 61, has been in power for 28 years and vowed to stay in the post until he's 74.

During the last election in July 2008, Hun Sen's party won 90 seats out of the 123 seats in the National Assembly, while the opposition group totally gained 29 seats.

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