News / Asia

Cambodian Opposition Rejects Election Results

Opposition National Rescue Party's Vice President Kem Sokha, center, gives a press conference at his party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 12, 2013. Opposition National Rescue Party's Vice President Kem Sokha, center, gives a press conference at his party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 12, 2013.
x
Opposition National Rescue Party's Vice President Kem Sokha, center, gives a press conference at his party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 12, 2013.
Opposition National Rescue Party's Vice President Kem Sokha, center, gives a press conference at his party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 12, 2013.
Robert Carmichael
— The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) says it will not accept election results announced Monday by the National Election Committee, which show a victory for the ruling party. The opposition continues to insist that an independent investigation into alleged voting irregularities must be held into a ballot both sides claim they won.  

The country's National Election Committee (NEC), the body that oversees elections, said Monday that results indicate the ruling party won the majority of votes in the July 28 poll.

The NEC said the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of Prime Minister Hun Sen had taken 19 of the 24 provinces, winning around 3.2 million votes to the opposition's 2.95 million.

Those results are largely in line with preliminary estimates released shortly after the July 28 vote. If confirmed, they would give the CPP around 68 parliamentary seats and the opposition 55 seats. The NEC will release the seat allocation figures at an undetermined later date.

The outcome of the election marked a significant setback for the ruling party, which won 90 seats in the 123-seat parliament at the last election, and an astonishing result for the opposition, which nearly doubled the number of seats it held.

But the opposition CNRP reckons it won outright although it has yet to provide evidence of that claim. On Monday it rejected the NEC's figures.

The opposition wants an independent investigation into what it says was massive voting fraud, and has been talking to the ruling party about setting up a joint committee.

CNRP chief whip Son Chhay claimed Monday that the NEC was complicit in voting fraud, and so could not be trusted to investigate itself.

“If [the] NEC have nothing to hide or [the] CPP have nothing to hide, they should allow this process to take place in a more transparent way," said Son. "It will help to satisfy the people. If there's nothing wrong [that] will be OK. I think we will be willing to accept that.”

The opposition is also annoyed at the NEC's timing in releasing provisional results, because the CNRP and the ruling party are still discussing the composition of the investigation team.  

“We believe that this announcement does not help to solve the problem of irregularities and also jeopardizes the effort that made by the Cambodia National Rescue Party and the CPP in bringing about to set up the investigation body to investigate all the irregularities," said Son. "And also the announcement could help to stir up unrest [for] which NEC must take full responsibility.”

The opposition's refusal to accept the results without a full investigation comes at a tense time: late last week the government deployed troops to the capital to deal with any violent demonstrations.

Son Chhay said the opposition was committed to resolving the issue through negotiations, adding that peaceful protests remained a last resort.

The NEC's announced results also come as King Sihamoni, a constitutional monarch who is head of state, flew to China Monday for medical treatment.

The Royal Palace insists that this is a scheduled trip for a regular check-up. But the timing of the king's departure has drawn notice, not least because in his absence, the leader of the Senate becomes the acting head of state. That is Chea Sim, the president of the ruling party.

Also Monday a coalition of 10 civil society organizations called on the NEC to delay releasing the final results of the poll until the proposed joint committee has properly investigated the election.

The coalition, whose representatives met with Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Friday, also asked all stakeholders to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and reaffirm their commitment to a peaceful resolution.

For now, though, Cambodia remains in a state of political limbo, and many citizens will be hoping that the election result  will be concluded peacefully.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid