PHNOM PENH - Final results released Sunday from Cambodia's local elections this month confirmed the dominance of Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party, but a strong showing by the opposition saw its prospects boosted for next year's general election.
The results issued by the National Election Committee show the ruling Cambodian People's Party capturing 1,156 of the country's 1,646 communes, and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party winning 489 in the June 4 polls, with the much smaller Khmer National Unity Party picking up a sole commune.
The percentage of the popular vote captured by the CPP declined to just under 51 percent from about 62 percent in 2012 local elections, while the CNRP's share rose to almost 44 percent from 30 percent.
The opposition was also encouraged because it attained its strong showing despite intimidation and legal pressures from the government.
The Cambodian People's Party, reacting to Sunday's announcement, issued a statement saying that the polls were conducted in a free and fair manner and that the results reflected the correct leadership of the ruling party.