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Australian Parliamentary delegation to observe Cambodian national elections.



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Mr Smith’s Office: Courtney Hoogen 02 6277 7500 or 0488 244901 Departmental : (02) 6261 1555

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Minister for Foreign Affairs

M E D I A R E L E A S E

FA116 23 July 2008

AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION TO OBSERVE CAMBODIAN NATIONAL ELECTIONS

I am pleased to announce that a four-person Australian Parliamentary delegation will observe the fourth National Assembly elections in Cambodia on 27 July 2008.

The Parliamentary delegation is in response to an invitation from the Cambodian National Election Committee for international observers to monitor the conduct of the elections. The Australian delegation will be part of an international observer presence.

The Government’s decision to send an observer delegation reinforces Australia’s long-standing commitment to supporting democratic institutions and processes in Cambodia. Australian parliamentary delegations have observed the previous three National Assembly elections in Cambodia.

The delegation is: Mr Richard Marles MP, Ms Nola Marino MP, Mr Mark Coulton MP and Senator Rachel Siewert.

Australia has provided funding support for a three-year United Nations Development Programme to promote democratic development and civic participation in Cambodia.

Australia also provided support for a partnership between Radio Australia and Radio National Kampuchea which developed a talk-back radio program allowing citizens in the lead-up to the elections to interact directly with government officials, representatives of opposition parties and civil society.

I advised my counterpart, the Cambodian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Kao Kim Hourn, of the delegation in our bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Ministers’ Meetings in Singapore.