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Australian Government must demand an inquiry into Cambodian election

Media Release
Christine Milne 1 Aug 2013

Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne has written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd asking the government to show leadership in the Asia Pacific region by supporting calls for an independent investigation into election irregularities in last weekend's Cambodian elections.

"Prime Minister Rudd should use his diplomatic and foreign affairs credentials by publicly standing up for the principle of free and fair elections in Cambodia," Senator Milne said.

"The recent Cambodian elections are of grave concern for the stability of democracy in the Asia Pacific region.

"There are emerging stories of poll irregularities including incomplete and inaccurate electoral rolls, voters being turned away at polling booths for minor administrative reasons and illegitimate ballots.

"Australia should be using its position on the international stage to actively support a full and transparent investigation into electoral irregularities by an independent committee with the assistance of the United Nations and non-governmental groups.

"I have been in contact with Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy who was in exile until less than two weeks before the election was held. He believes an independent investigation into the election is necessary to prevent the Cambodian people losing faith in their democracy.

"The United States and the European Union have now expressed concern about the reported irregularities.

"It is incumbent on the Australian Government, as a leader in the region, to ensure that Cambodia has a stable and strong democracy."

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