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Luck decides poll position

3 election ballot heng chivoan

It’s official: the little-known Cambodian Nationality Party is set to be the number one political party at July’s National Election – on the ballot, at least.

A lucky draw conducted by Cambodia’s two most senior monks, supreme patriarchs Tep Vong and Bou Kry, and overseen by the National Election Committee yesterday determined the order in which the eight political parties will appear on voting forms on July 28.

The CNP won the coveted top spot during the draw at NEC headquarters, but there was more interest in where the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and its main opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party were placed.

Like the previous national election five years ago, the CPP will be listed fourth, while the CNRP will appear seventh.

CPP central committee member Sorm Soeun said that being fourth again was a sign of luck – one he believed could presage another election victory.

“With number four again, we also hope to win the same as we did last time,” he said.

CNRP spokesman Yem Ponharith said that far from being a problem, being listed seventh was something of an omen for his party.

“We’ve been drawn at seven. Our leaflet has seven points in it. Our congress is on April 7,” he said. “Our seven points of policy has [CPP leaders] bewildered with fear . . . so our taking number seven is a wonderful story,” NEC president Im Suosdey said determining ballot positions more than two months before the election provided clarity for voters.

“Each political party will include their number in their election campaigning so voters can know how to vote for their party,” he said.

The NEC also confirmed yesterday it had a budget of $21 million for the election and would print 12 million ballots.

Funcinpec will be listed second on the ballot and the Democratic Republic Party third.

Below the CPP, the Khmer Economic Development Party will be fifth, the Khmer Anti Poverty Party sixth and the Alliance Party for Democracy will be listed at the bottom.

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