ISTANBUL: The July general elections in Cambodia have been “widely assessed as free and fair, credible, and just,” newly-elected Prime Minister Hun Manet said Friday in his maiden address to the United Nations (UN).

“Our democratic-building process has steadily advanced,” Hun told the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

He said 18 parties contested the elections during which more than 8.2 million people cast ballots -- a turnout rate of 84.59 per cent.

“This is the highest since UN-supervised elections in 1993 -- and a clear indication of our people’s greater political maturity and enthusiasm in exercising their democratic rights,” he said.

He added thousands of observers, including 333 from abroad representing 65 countries witnessed the election process.

Hun succeeded his father Hun Sen, who ruled the Buddhist-majority Southeast Asian nation for 38 years.

Ahead of the elections, Cambodia’s top court banned the main opposition Candle Light Party from contesting elections.

Hun’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party won 120 seats in the 125-seat parliament. - Bernama

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