With the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on course for a landslide victory in this year’s municipal, provincial and district council elections, preliminary results showed that the fledgling Khmer Will Party (KWP) founded last year received two votes despite having no eligible voters.
The two votes were received in Phnom Penh and Prey Veng province at the provincial and municipal level.
Sar Kheng, the Minister of Interior, said the smooth running of the elections showed Cambodians adhered to the principles of multi-party democracy.
KWP president Kong Monika said the votes his party received could not be considered a success.
However, he said the KWP had taken part in the elections to strengthen the party’s structure at the sub-national level in preparation for the 2022 commune and 2023 national elections.
On Monday, the National Election Committee released the preliminary results of Sunday’s municipal, provincial and district council elections.
Two parties without eligible voters still contested the elections. While the KWP won two votes, the Khmer Republican Party (KRP) received no support.
Preliminary results suggested that the Khmer National Unity Party (KNUP), although receiving good support in Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Kampong Speu provinces, lost the support of 52 commune councillors.
KNUP spokesperson Run Meatra said his party had 227 councillors.
An NEC spokesperson said the KNUP received only 175 votes across the country. This implies the party lost the support of 52 commune councillors.
“This is normal in a democracy. There are people who are loyal and those who are not. It is usual for support to fluctuate. Other parties tried to persuade our councillors to support their party. Some parties lacked voters so they lobbied our councillors, and we did the same,” Meatra said.
According to the NEC’s preliminary results, KNUP received 36, 32 and 31 votes respectively in Siem Reap, Kampong Speu and Banteay Meanchey provinces.
Meatra said this showed that councillors in these provinces remained loyal to party president Nhek Bun Chhay.
President of the Cambodian Youth Party (CYP) Pich Sros on Monday said his party had increased its votes to eight from its three commune councillors.
He said the increase in support reflected the elections taking place “smoothly and without any duress”.
Meanwhile, Sar Kheng on Monday thanked security forces and the authorities at all levels for their efforts in ensuring public order during Sunday’s polls.
He said the elections went ahead “successfully, safely and without violence”.
“All voters went to fulfil their obligations. In general, the election process and ballot counting went smoothly, without any obstacles and with no violence or threats, and the safety situation, in general, was good,” he wrote on Facebook on Monday.
Sar Kheng, who is also deputy prime minister, said the success of the elections reflected the contribution of all Cambodians and political parties in adhering to the principles of multi-party democracy and respecting social harmony.
NEC spokesperson Hang Puthea said the official election results were expected to be announced on June 8.
The NEC would divide the council positions among the parties that had won the elections. The newly elected council members would then take up their positions after 14 days.
He said the CPP had received the majority of votes in all capital and provincial districts, and its candidates would, therefore, become council chiefs. Councils did not have deputy chiefs, only members, he added.