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Politics

Opposition spokesman Yim Sovann said yesterday that if any of the CNRP’s more than 400 new commune chiefs who won office on Sunday cannot follow through on the party’s campaign pledges, they will “give up” their positions.

Ros Savoeurn, the CNRP’s first candidate in Kandal’s Doeum Reus commune, claims he was intimidated by masked men prior to Sunday’s commune election vote.
Wed, 7 June 2017

CNRP candidate claims threat

The United Nations is investigating claims that military police attempted to kick an opposition commune chief candidate off a moving motorbike on the eve of the election in Kandal province, the Office of the High Commissioner for Hu

GDP supporters participate in a party campaign rally last week in Kampot province.
Wed, 7 June 2017

Did small parties give CPP more commune victories?

Predictions that a proliferation of small political parties would splinter the opposition vote may have been borne out at Sunday’s commune election polls, prompting social media outcry from CNRP supporters, even as smaller parties b

The new CNRP commune chief-elect for Kok Doung commune, Tuon Aun, 70, poses for a photograph at his residence in Siem Reap province.
Wed, 7 June 2017

Low crop values and rising debt led a former CPP stronghold to go CNRP

On Sunday, opposition commune chief candidate Tuon Aun won the rural Siem Reap commune of Kok Doung, a former bastion of support for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, by more than 1,000 votes.

Opposition leader Kem Sokha leads a CNRP campaign rally on Friday in Phnom Penh.
Tue, 6 June 2017

With a tenfold increase in communes won, CNRP readies for 2018

Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha have never shied away from incredible claims about their opposition party’s popularity.

KNUP supporters participate in a party campaign rally last week in Phnom Penh.
Tue, 6 June 2017

Victories were few for small parties

As commune election results continued to trickle in yesterday, it was abundantly clear that Cambodia’s political landscape is now dominated by just two main competitors.

Transparency International Cambodia Executive Director Preap Kol speaks to the press about the preliminary results.
Tue, 6 June 2017

CPP lead in popular vote slim, say NGOs

Preliminary returns from Sunday’s commune elections appear to show a tighter popular vote than the breakdown of communes won would seem to suggest, with the CNRP raking in an estimated 45 percent of votes to the CPP’s 48 percent, according to a coalition of NGOs. Though the figures were based only on a sample of polling stations, the Situation Room an election monitoring group made up of watchdogs and human rights organisations – said in a statement that it believes the projections “are 95 percent accurate”. The monitors yesterday also announced that they hadn’t found any major issues with the election, tentatively labelling the voting process mostly free and fair.

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at a CPP campaign rally in Phnom Penh on Friday.
Mon, 5 June 2017

CPP-led Senate secure, Prime Minister notes

Prime Minister Hun Sen pointed out in a Facebook post today that the opposition had failed to wrest control of the Senate from his ruling Cambodian People's Party, despite having hoped to do so, losing out on crucial constitutional powers in the process. Only commune councillors vote in the six-yearly Senate elections – the next is due by January 2018 – and the senator selected as the chamber’s president holds the constitutional powers of head of state when the king is abroad. “They campaigned saying that in 2017 they would take the communes and the Senate,” Hun Sen wrote on Facebook in reference to the opposition, noting that if the party won a majority on Sunday it would have gained great constitutional powers very soon.

A CNRP supporter with the party logo stickers on his face.
Mon, 5 June 2017

Popular vote closer than commune count suggests, Situation Room estimates

Despite winning approximately 30 percent of commune seats up for grabs, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party is projected to take about 45 percent o

NEC Chairman Sik Bunhok speaks to the press in Phnom Penh after voting closed in commune elections yesterday.
Mon, 5 June 2017

Minor hiccups at elections

While yesterday’s commune elections went more smoothly than past iterations, they were not free from claims of irregularities, with opposition activists bearing the brunt of the legal punishments. Despite the relative calm, Koul Panha, the director of election watchdog Comfrel, said observers had found some irregularities.