News / Asia

Cambodia Opposition Claims Win in Sunday Election

President of National Rescue Party Sam Rainsy, center, gives a speech during a public forum at their party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 31, 2013.
President of National Rescue Party Sam Rainsy, center, gives a speech during a public forum at their party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 31, 2013.
VOA News
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has set a conciliatory tone in his first public remarks since Sunday's disputed parliamentary elections.

The long-time leader told a crowd in Phnom Penh that he is open to discussions with the opposition and would support an investigation of alleged election irregularities if the National Election Commission thinks such a move is necessary.

Meanwhile, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is claiming victory in Sunday's parliamentary election, stepping up its rejection of the government's initial results.

The party said Wednesday its own polling data showed it won at least 63 parliamentary seats, compared to just 60 seats for the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP).

The government's preliminary figures released Sunday showed the CCP winning 68 seats - a significantly reduced majority from the last election - but enough to return longtime Hun Sen to power.

The CNRP, led by opposition leader Sam Rainsy, gathered Wednesday to collect evidence of alleged irregularities, as accusations of fraud continue to come in from international observers.

Rainsy said he hoped the evidence could bolster the party's call for a United Nations-backed investigation into what he said was widespread electoral fraud.

"Every polling station caused problems. In some, the election officials said there was no indelible ink or no papers, and that caused trouble. There could be a million problems like this. So the Cambodia National Rescue Party has to solve these problems," he said.

Rainsy told VOA Khmer as many as 1.2 million voter names had been removed from the national registry, while 200,000 names on it were duplicates.

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday said the ruling CPP "appears to have been involved in electoral fraud." It said CPP officials may have issued fake voting documents to supporters and allowed some to vote in more than one location.

The New York-based group, which based its conclusions on interviews with residents and officials, called for an independent commission to investigate the claims, since the National Election Commission falls under the ruling party's control.

Cambodian officials have rejected calls for an international inquiry and called on the opposition to clearly show what evidence it has. It has denied any wrongdoing. The CPP insists Hun Sen will stay on as prime minister.

The United States and European Union have both expressed concern over voting alleged irregularities in the vote. The U.S. has called for a "transparent and full investigation of all credible reports of irregularities."

Even if the preliminary results are upheld, it would be the ruling party's worst election result in 15 years. It could create a tricky political standoff for Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has led Cambodia for 28 years.

The opposition was energized by the recent return of Rainsy, who for years had been in self-imposed exile in France, fleeing charges he says were politically motivated. Rainsy received a royal pardon earlier this month, but was not allowed to participate in the elections.

The 60-year-old has threatened to organize mass protests if the government does not respect what he says are the election results. Official results are not expected to be released until mid-August.

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by: GoodSamaritan from: Los Angeles, CA
August 02, 2013 7:26 AM
There are no proof that Vietnamese entered Cambodia illegally to vote. But there are some Vietnamese descents with Cambodian citizens who were voting. It is legal, just like in USA and other countries. Stop being a hater.
In Response

by: Jane from: Boston
August 02, 2013 9:53 AM
@Good Samaritan of LA: You are a blind person. There are plenty of proof, thanks to Facebook and Youtube social media, we have concrete evidence. This will continue until Khmer is minority, don't forget VN population is 100 millions, Cambodia is less than 20 millions, Stop insulting the fact unless you are not Khmer.

by: Khmer History Guy from: California
August 01, 2013 11:03 PM
To all who think Youn is a "racial slur" is in fact wrong!! If you look back in history the province of Youn is in China. Vietnamese people migrated down South to Southeast Asia and meet with Khmer People. Khmer people call them "Youn" because they are from a province in China, Yuon means Vietnamese people that is it.

by: Lynn from: Toronto
August 01, 2013 12:03 PM
For decades, Cambodia always has been and always will be corrupted by the rulling parties, it's all about power and wealth, Old blood or new blood, in my opinion, they are no different.

by: Park Geun Hye from: Korea
August 01, 2013 12:45 AM
The members of the so-called "Cambodia National Rescue Party" did nothing to stop the Khmer Rough from massacring millions of innocent Cambodians. Instead they fled to Western countries for their own security. Why did they not form the "National Rescue Party" to fight the Khmer Rough during that time. Because they are all cowards and only think first for themselves! Now the country is in peace, so Cambodians do not need such kind of "National Rescue Party", which only creates hatred among Khmer people and hatred towards Vietnam. Such fascism ideology must be stopped before it is too late for Cambodia.
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 01, 2013 5:45 PM
@Park. You want to know why Cambodians fled to western countries? They fled because they had enough of murderist communists, China and Vietnam. They learned their lessons from Khmer Rouge. Why would they want to live under Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge, now Vietnam ally? Given the chance right now, they would flee again, just like North Korean.
In Response

by: Soph from: USA
August 01, 2013 1:33 PM
KR was backed by China. The Party before the coupe did not have any real military power. Kinda easy for any opposition with a decent military force to take over. Not everyone fled. There were those who opposed and got slaughtered. There were those who didn't oppose and got slaughtered. There are other ways to fight evil than with brute strength. Just because you moved to another country doesn't mean you are a coward.

Were Jews considered cowards when the Nazi's hunted them down? And btw Cambodia is not in peace. It may not be at war, but there is civil unrest caused by the abuse of power. And don't get the wrong idea and generalize that all Cambodians hate all Vietnamese. The main concern is not with Vietnamese people, the most pressing issue is about the current ruler and his party and the way they run the country.
In Response

by: Jane from: USA
August 01, 2013 10:19 AM
@Park Geun Hye: This election has nothing to do with the Khmer Rouge. The CPP Government minister and their military leaders comprised of North Vietnamese officials, they run the country to the ground, they brought in Vietnamese to come and vote on the election day, they will do anything to keep their control on every aspects of Cambodian life, there are more and more Vietnamese living in Cambodia now they anytime in Cambodia history, Cambodia needs leadership change, There will be no true Peace if the CPP still run Cambodia.

by: Samphalla from: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
July 31, 2013 11:43 PM
1) At every polling stations the two parties have their own observing officers, so they have the first hand results. Why didn't they do their own calculation? It 's just a simple calculating.
2) Resolve the irregularity happened during the registration, verify the name and voting period.
In Response

by: Mak from: USA
August 01, 2013 10:28 AM
1- The officers are powerless when Vietnamese came to vote with CPP voter registration issued, ask people in Border Village Svay Rieng, Kompot, Takeo, Kampong Cham, Rottanak Kiri, Mondol Kiri,
2- The CPP Military and Polices had their hand tied, their mouth shut and the eyes closed because their military leaders are Vietnamese not Khmer

by: Johntheir from: boston
July 31, 2013 8:18 PM
Hey Igor, the only thing the Vietnamese save was our treasures and are land! Now back to your point. You must to love being under a dictator like Hun Sen, because you from Russia, I guess you used to dictatorship. I don't agree on everything Sam Rainsy say...but i rather be have Ranisy, as the new PM the old one been there for over 28yrs...we need new blood....
In Response

by: Mak from: USA
August 01, 2013 10:39 AM
@Igor of Russia: You got the name mixed up. Hun Sen is elected by the Vietnamese not Cambodian, his reign is full of terror and suffering, there is no peace and security in Cambodia, you seen beautiful fake painting of the CPP that is not real.
In Response

by: Igor from: Russia
August 01, 2013 12:53 AM
I think what you need is the chaotic situation in Cambodia and blood of innocent Cambodians. Do you intend to turn the whole Cambodia into a second Iraq, a second Afganistan or a second Syria? Combodians would rather live in peace and security than live in a society full of disorder, hatred among people and hatred towards the neibours. Hun Sen is not a dictator because he has been elected by his people. But Sam Rainsy is surely be a fascist who could lead Cambodia into another civil war.

by: Anonymous
July 31, 2013 3:16 PM
If Hun Sen knows he is the true winner, he will absolutely use force. The problem is that he is not the winner. So, he wants to negotiate. If CNRP agree with Hun Sen, then CNRP is the loser.
In Response

by: Crystal from: CA
August 02, 2013 6:47 PM
@lgor The situations in the Arab world is entirely different from Cambodia. Religions play a big role in the civil war in Arab. Also, different tribal groups slaughter each other. As to Cambodia is mainly people are upset with government suppression and wealth gap between Mr Hun Sen friends and relatives and the everybody people.

by: Sov from: Boston
July 31, 2013 1:52 PM
There are evidences of Vietnamese illegally voting in this election especially in the Easter Province of Cambodia, this prove that the ruling party CPP will do anything to hold on to their power, even selling their own country, now Vietnam have full control of every aspects of Cambodia, soon there will be more Vietnamese living in Cambodia than the Cambodian, only change can slowly reverse that.
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 31, 2013 9:36 PM
My report told me there were trucks of Vietnamese people near border Svay Reing last year election, 2012. They were voting in villages. I don't know about this election. When he gets back from the village I will talk to him. I suspect this year election is no difference.

Just wondering why CPP got higher number than CNRP when CPP lost almost all provinces nearby.
In Response

by: vuthyra kim from: Nice, France.
July 31, 2013 5:20 PM
I totally with this man. I saw number of videos, Vietnames taking boats to vote in rural areas, where laws and protection from opposition party are weak.

Thank you..

by: Anonymous
July 31, 2013 9:01 AM
No worry, China will sort you all out in the end.

by: jimbray from: USA
July 30, 2013 10:09 PM
Vietnam sent hundreds of thousands of people to vote illegally in Cambodia to support their puppet dictator, Hun Sen in order to maintain their subjugation of the Cambodian people. Now, Vietnamese have crossed the border into Cambodia to protect their economic and political interests. It is a disgrace world governments continue to recognize this illegitimate government, after 30 years of de facto slavery.
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 31, 2013 9:26 PM
Igor, if Hun Sen and his CPP party are brave then they should listen to the people, not run away. Do you read news? Are you following judicial system in Cambodia? How is NEC operates? Why did they get this one election so wrong? Did they listen to others when they pointed out there were problems before election took place? Now, do you see the incompetent and bias in Hun Sen government?

And do you think Vietnam saved Cambodia out of kindness? Vietnam had enough of Khmer Rouge raiding Vietnamese villages along the border almost daily in 1977-8 and murdered them by the thousands. How is Vietnam supposed take it when its citizens were being murdered. They took action by invading Cambodia, to teach the Khmer Rouge a lesson. Hun Sen happened to be in the right place at the right time when he defected to Vietnam during Khmer Rouge purged.

Oh don't forget, China was Pol Pot ally. During this period, 1975-1979, Khmer Rouge killed more than a million Khmer and foreigners in Cambodia. Pol Pot accused these foreigners of CIA agents and KGB agents. Pol Pot got this idea of mass killing from China, thanks to Mao Tse Tung. Pol Pot was Mao good student. Pol Pot not just copied Mao's idea but clothing style. Who could forget the famous black pajamas. Khmer should learn these valuable lessons from history, that getting too close to communist is never a good idea, whether it's Vietnam or China.
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 31, 2013 11:45 AM
Viet never try to safe Cambodia. They alway wanted to be patron or engouch! Cambodia for many centuries already but they just don't have opportunity and this 1979 is one of the best opportunity they ever wish for.... They may stop Pol Pot from killing Khmer but they never wish to safe Khmer either.... in 1979 there were 12 tone of GOLD left from Cambodia capital to VietNam and many others goods, army supply... when missing...
In Response

by: Igor from: Russia
July 31, 2013 10:03 AM
Shut up your mouth and stop spreading lies. Hun Sen and Vietnam saved millions of Cambodians from being excecuted by the Khmer Rough regime whereas the West, China supported it. The West and ther person called "Rainsy" did nothing to save Khmer people. When that country is in peace, the West is supporting the coward Rainsy to return to Cambodia for power. There is no motherland for the coward!
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