Audio Message of Samdech Techo Hun Sen on the 23-July-2023 7th Legislative National Assembly Elections [Unofficial Translation]


Venerable Buddhist Monks,
Dear compatriots,

Today we have just concluded the (7th Legislature National Assembly) elections across the country (in parallel with the call of) the extremist groups (inspiring) people not to go to the polls or to (go to the polls only) to destroy the ballots. So far, the temporary result that I have received from the National Election Committee indicates that the number of people who went to the polls is up to 84.21% and may increase further. Compared to the 2022 commune/sangkat elections, where 80.32% of the population went to the polls at the time and with the participation of the Candlelight (Party), and at this time, the Candlelight Party and its founder called on their supporters not to go to the polls – we have noted the difference in polling rate. Previously, even with the encouragement of the participated Candlelight (Party), the turnout was only 80.32%. This time, despite leadership from the (creator) of the Candlelight Party from outside calling on the people not to go to the polls, and/or to go to the poll but invalidate their ballots with crossing out sign, on the contrary, more than 84% of the people did go to the polls.

From these points, we can conclude that the people have clearly participated in the democratic movement in Cambodia. The people want peaceful life and prosperity under the roof of peace that has been and is happening, and want to get away from the extremists who have always destroyed (the democratic process in Cambodia). Now (comparatively) the number of people who went to the polls is much higher than (from) the elections with the participation of the Candlelight Party even. We are waiting to see how many ballots that are crossed out since the leaders of the extremist group have made it clear that the invalidating ballots with crossing out signs are the ones that support them. We will see how many crossing-out ballots are there? […]

In their Telegram Chanel, known as the Sabay Telegram, we see a sample (ballot) cast and sent to their leader in Paris. I would like to inform the opposition that last night you launched the Channel Telegram to encourage (the supporters) to mark invalidating signs on the ballots and send to the leaders in Paris. I checked in and commented in your Telegram account. We already know their faces. They all are in the country. I would like to suggest that there should be no fear. They can come out and confess to the NEC or especially the authority. The vote-destroying movement is a crime that must be punished. If you are aware of the mistake, please hurry to confess to the authorities at the nearest place. Otherwise, legal action will be taken.

Their Sabay Telegram Chanel cannot be disguised. Now, (we have already identified) the target members of the said telegram channel, which we already went in to comment, they can check there are four of my commons in there. You cannot hide your attempt to destroy (the election process) and all of you who involved (in this movement), please do not flee the country. Please come out and confess your wrongdoing induced by the outlaw rebel leader who declared that those ballots (invalidated with crossing out signs) were his. Let us separate them.

I hope that the NEC will differentiate between invalid ballots, which usually occur every time (there is an election), to the ballots invalidated (by crossing-out signs) since they define the them as the ballots for the extremist leader. Now more than 84% of the people go to the polls. We are waiting to see how many of the 8,177,053 ballots cast in the elections or 84.21% of the total – were invalidated with the crossing-out sign. These are only temporary figures. This figure is subject to change. We know exactly how many people (who) went to the polls, refusing to listen to the opposition, and supported the people’s democratic process, supported HM the King’s call, supported the NEC’s call, and supported the government’s call for the people to go to the polls.

I am taking this opportunity to express my gratitude and thanks to all the Buddhist monks and compatriots who have fulfilled duties as the owners of the country, and the practitioners of true democracy through elections. This act has completely pushed the extremists who are trying to destroy democracy in Cambodia to lose their stands. Let all extremist groups look at and analyze the political maturity of the Cambodian people. The strength of the Cambodian people is (that they) would not let the cheating group destroy their nation.

I am very proud and I will follow this matter up as I am going meet and dine with the Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau during his visit the Kingdom and to observe the elections. Thank you./.


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