News / Asia

Cambodia Opposition Rejects Election Result

Cambodia National Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy, center, speaks during a press conference in his main party headquarters in Chak Angre Leu in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 29, 2013.
Cambodia National Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy, center, speaks during a press conference in his main party headquarters in Chak Angre Leu in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 29, 2013.
Robert Carmichael
Cambodia's main opposition party has rejected the results of a parliamentary election and called for an investigation into allegations of widespread electoral fraud. 
 
Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) claimed a narrow victory in Sunday's vote, admitting to its weakest showing since taking a dominant role in Cambodian politics almost three decades ago. 
 
Shortly after the polls closed, the CPP said it won 68 seats in the nation's 123 member parliament - a significant decline from the 90 seat majority it previously held. It said the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) took the remaining 55 seats, almost doubling the 29 seats it held in the outgoing parliament.
 
The CPP appeared to base its claims on partial results released by the National Election Committee, which was not expected to disclose final election figures for several weeks. 
 
CNRP leader Sam Rainsy told reporters Monday the opposition would not accept the results of the ballot because of what he characterized as widespread fraud. 
 
"We ask local and international bodies to send experts now to be part of a joint committee to investigate all the irregularities, and to assess the implications of those irregularities on the election results."
 
Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan told VOA the opposition's announcement was typical of its election behavior. "The opposition party uses this game after every election," he said. 
 
Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch (HRW) was in Cambodia observing the election campaign. 
 
"There were serious fraud allegations leading up to the elections," he said. "They included illegal behavior on behalf of government security authorities; things like "ghost" voters, de-registration of opposition voters, biased behavior by the national election commission, unequal access to national media, the list goes on and on. It is a serious problem and it does deserve an independent investigation. "
 
The non-profit Transparency International Cambodia echoed those concerns. The group, which sent 900 observers to about 400 of the nation's 19,000 polling stations, says it found a litany of breaches. 
 
Chief among those was that in 60 percent of polling stations, some people who had the right identification papers could not find their names on the voting list. It also found that people who lacked the correct identification were allowed to vote in a quarter of the polling stations.
 
Transparency International said its findings closely matched the pre-election findings of other monitors. 
 
The Cambodian government has not yet commented on the substance of the alleged irregularities. 
 
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said his concern is for the will of the people. "What we are interested in is to render justice to the Cambodian people. To ensure that the will of the people will not be distorted or reversed as before," he said. 
 
David Chandler, a Cambodia analyst with Australia's Monash University, said a major political change is unlikely.  
 
"The opposition does not have access to funds, weapons or patronage. So the financial power will continue to be in the hands of the CPP.  Foreign aid will flow to the government, which is controlled by the CPP.  I think politics will become more interesting and vibrant, but I do not think that will involve the transfer of power to any extent," he said. 
 
The CNRP appeared to get a boost in the election from the merger of two of its founding parties, who joined forces last year to challenge the long-ruling CPP. The united opposition party touted a populist platform calling for a sharp rise in civil servants' salaries, monthly payments to those over 65 years old, and an increase in the minimum wage.  It also pledged to regulate government prices for agricultural products, lower gas costs and provide free health care for the poor. 
 
Robertson of HRW said the promise of change made many voters more enthusiastic about participating in the election. "It really propelled the opposition to make major gains. But, we should not confuse outcomes with processes and procedures. The processes and procedures of the election were not fair and favored one side. They were designed to deny the civil and political rights of the Cambodian people."
 
Critics questioned whether the opposition would be able to pay for its proposed measures. 
 
Hun Sen has been prime minister or co-prime minister of Cambodia for 28 years, first assuming office in 1985.  
 

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Levi Ann from: Australia
July 30, 2013 6:52 AM
The election in Cambodia unfair because Mr Hun Sen cheated, on behalf on Khmer in Australia I want to see UN involve and do investigate on this case, because the result unacceptable.
1.national media closed (not live)
2.national election committee belong to Mr Hun SEN
3.people can't find their names


by: GoodSamaritan from: Los Angeles, CA
July 29, 2013 7:44 PM
As predicted, this guy would never get elected. First, he is anti-Vietnamese, which makes him a racist. He and his party made many empty promises. Where will he get the money to raise the salary of civil servants and give free health care when the country is so poor and there is no tax system? Old generation of Cambodian still trust Hun Sen, because they are afraid Cambodia will fall into civil war again.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid