Press Statement by Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller on Undemocratic Actions Ahead of Cambodian Elections

May 25, 2023

The United States is deeply troubled that Cambodian authorities are preventing the Candlelight Party – the Kingdom’s largest opposition party – from participating in July 2023 national elections.

Contrived legal actions, threats, harassment, and politically motivated criminal charges targeting opposition parties, independent media, and civil society undermine Cambodia’s international commitments to develop as a multiparty democracy.

Accordingly, the United States does not plan to send official observers to the July elections, part of an electoral process that many independent Cambodian and international experts assess is neither free nor fair. We strongly urge Cambodian authorities to reverse course to ensure their citizens can participate in a fair, multiparty democracy consistent with the Cambodian constitution and freely exercise their human rights, including freedoms of association, peaceful assembly, and expression without fear of reprisal.