Statement on Cambodian Government’s Decision to Shut Down NDI's Office in Cambodia

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - The National Democratic Institute (NDI) expresses deep disappointment in the decision by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to shut down the Institute’s office in Cambodia.

"We are surprised and saddened by this development," said NDI President Kenneth Wollack. "For 25 years in Cambodia, NDI has worked with all major political parties, including the ruling party. We have been transparent in our work, and have made every attempt to comply with the law. It is our sincere hope the Cambodian government will review its decision."

NDI has worked with Cambodian political parties, citizens and civil society groups to support transparent governance and inclusive political participation, which are guaranteed by the Cambodian Constitution. All major parties, including the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), have participated actively in NDI programs. Carried out in cooperation with the Royal Government of Cambodia, this work is strictly nonpartisan and has included party development, candidate debates and multi-party dialogue, women's participation, and citizen-led efforts to observe the electoral process.

“NDI’s efforts help strengthen democratic processes and institutions and not a particular electoral outcome,” Wollack said.

NDI has fulfilled all legal obligations for registration through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The Ministry accepted NDI’s registration documents on September 21, 2016, and has yet to act on the submission. Article 14 of Cambodia’s Law on Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO) requires the Ministry to make a decision on a registration application within 45 working days. NDI has a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Election Committee (NEC) and works closely with the Committee.

NDI programs in Cambodia are supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development. NDI wishes to thank the many organizations in Cambodia that have expressed their support for the Institute and its work.

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working in more than 60 nations to support and strengthen democratic institutions through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.



Angkor Wat, the front side of the main complex, photographed in the late afternoon Credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen
Angkor Wat, the front side of the main complex, photographed in the late afternoon Credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

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Author: National Democratic Institute
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