Legal Framework

The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia provides the general guidelines for the rights of its citizen to vote as well as run for candidacy. It provides that Khmer nationals who are at least eighteen years of age on the day of election may enjoy his/her right to vote. He/she must also be a resident of the Commune/Sangkat where he/she will cast his/her vote. Moreover, the citizen must not be serving a prison term and proven not to be insane or under guardianship as certified by a competent ministry or institution.

The Constitution also contains the general provisions for the elections of the members of Senate and the National Assembly. However, the preparation for the election, procedure and electoral process are further determined by the Electoral Law. Separate laws exist for the Senate and the National Assembly: Law on Senate, which was adopted by the National Assembly in 2005; and the Law on Election of Members of the National Assembly (LEMNA) and Amended Law of Law on Elections of Members of the National Assembly.

The provisions for election of the Commune Council are found in the Regulations and Procedures: Commune Councils Elections. Each Commune/Sangkat shall have at least Commune Council, elected by the citizens of that Commune/Sangkat through a general, universal and direct election.

On March 2015, the government passed new electoral laws which caused an uproar among its citizens and human rights advocates. It is said the laws undermine democracy and restrict the citizens of its rights, one which is freedom of speech.

Among the criticized provisions is forbidding local and international NGOs from participating in political campaigns and from supporting parties and candidates. Political parties are also prevented from boycotting as a protest against election fraud and other loopholes. Security force members, on the other hand, are allowed to participate in the campaigns.

One of the laws is for the establishment of a new National Electoral Committee, the body responsible in overseeing the electoral process.

Other legal instruments used in the conduct of the electoral process include the Law on Political Parties and the Press Law.


Agence France-Presse. (2015, March 19). Cambodia OKs controversial election laws. Retrieved from Aljazeera America:

Cambodia: Proposed Election Laws Violate Rights. (2015, March 16). Retrieved from Human Rights Watch:

Gerin, R. (2015, March 19). Cambodian Parliament Passes Controversial Election Laws. Retrieved from Radio Free Asia:

Johnston, C. (2015, March 24). Cambodia: New Election Laws. Retrieved from Library of Congress:

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