Sumario: June 10, 2003: European Union Election Observation Mission deployed to Cambodia for Parliamentary Elections of 27 July 2003 (EC Funding EUR 1.55 Million) (Brussels)
The EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) is deployed today to Cambodia to observe the National Assembly Elections scheduled for 27 July 2003. These elections will be an important event in the political development of Cambodia and a further test for the democratisation process of the country. Robert J.E. Evans, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), will lead the EU EOM. Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten declared: "These elections represent an important
test for the development and consolidation of the democratic system in Cambodia. The European Union is firmly committed to supporting this process, which will be strengthened by the presence of international observers."
The EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) follows an invitation from the National Election Committee forwarded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of the Royal Government of Cambodia. The EU deployed observers for the 1998 and 2002 elections, and the decision to deploy an EU EOM in 2003 testifies to the continued support of the European Union for the democratisation of Cambodia. As in the past, the purpose of the EU EOM to Cambodia will be to increase the transparency of and confidence in the election process through the presence and reporting of international observers. The European Commission also hopes that the EU EOM can help defuse tension and deter potential election-related malpractice and violence.
Mr. Robert Evans, Member of the European Parliament and Member of the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia and the South Asia Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) has been appointed as EU Chief Observer for this mission and will be arriving in Cambodia on 11 June 2003. In total, the EU EOM will deploy more than 100 observers, comprising a core team of seven experts based in Phnom Penh including a media expert, 36 long-term observers to be deployed throughout the country to follow in the field pre-electoral preparations, campaigning, voting day and the post-election period, and 60 short-term observers arriving closer to election day.
The EU EOM will assess the whole election process, including the legal framework, the political environment and campaign, electoral preparations, voting and counting as well as the post-election period. The EU EOM will issue a preliminary statement shortly after election day, and later a final report detailing the findings of the mission and offering recommendations for possible improvement.
The funding decision represents a commitment of €1.55 million (or approx. 1.85Mio USD) from the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights of the EC budget. In addition, the European Commission is supporting the elections through technical assistance, including media and training experts working with the National Election Committee.
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