Cambodia opposition party rejects ruling party's win in poll last month

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-8-12 14:09:31

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Monday rejected the initial official election results that showed the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen won a majority vote in the July 28 general poll.

"The CNRP is very sorry and opposed to the National Election Committee (NEC) for releasing the preliminary election results in a situation that the poll irregularities on the election day have not been either investigated or resolved," Kem Sokha, CNRP's vice- president, said in a press conference on Monday.

"The party's leaders decided to reject the temporary results," he said. "The NEC released the results during a fragile political situation, so it must be responsible for any mutinies or protests that could happen and lead to political instability."

The committee's preliminary tally of the popular vote showed Hun Sen's party got 3,235,969 votes and the CNRP of longtime opposition leader Sam Rainsy received 2,946,176 votes.

The CPP calculated that with its 3,235,969 votes, it won 68 of the 123 parliamentary seats, while the CNRP, with its 2,946,176 votes, got the remaining 55 seats.

However, Kem Sokha claimed that the CNRP won 63 seats, with the CPP getting the remaining 60 if the serious irregularities were investigated and resolved.

The opposition party claimed that about 1.3 million voters were unable to vote because their names were not on the voter lists. In addition, it said, there were about one million ghost names on the voter lists and about 200,000 duplicate names.

"I insist that an independent joint committee be established in order to look into poll irregularities and to resolve all problems peacefully," Kem Sokha said. "If an independent joint committee is not formed for the investigation, I'd like to call for international community not to recognize any government that will be established from an election with unsolved serious irregularities."

As of Monday, the proposed independent committee, which is seen as the only body to peacefully resolve the dispute between the two parties over the poll results, has not been formed yet due to disagreement over committee members.

Sam Rainsy on Sunday renewed the threat to call mass protests against the results if an independent committee still could not be set up.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sar Kheng said last Friday soldiers and armored vehicles have been deployed on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, to ensure security and stability after Sam Rainsy has repeatedly called for mass demonstrations against the results.

According to the NEC, the official results will be released between Aug. 16 and September 8.

A new parliament will be established no later than 60 days after the election, according to the constitution.

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