Opposition leader Sam Rainsy, currently in self-imposed exile in France, has said he remains confident that his Cambodia National Rescue Party will win a majority of seats in parliament at the 2018 general election.
In a post on the CNRP president’s Facebook page this weekend, he wrote that he expected the party to win at least 62 of 123 seats in the National Assembly, allowing him to form a government.
He added that CNRP had won a victory from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in reforming the National Election Committee (NEC), making it easier to hold fair elections and paving the way for a CNRP win.
“The number of lawmakers opposing the dictatorial regime in the National Assembly has been steadily increasing,” he wrote, referring to opposition MPs voted into the legislature since 1993.
“If the NEC is fairer than the previous one we can expect the CNRP to win at least 62 parliamentary seats so as to bring about the democratic change that the Khmer people want to see for Cambodia.”
Rainsy went into self-imposed exile in November after a warrant was issued for his arrest over a years-old defamation ruling and his lawmaker status was later revoked, marking the fourth time he has been expelled from the body since the early 1990s.
Ruling party spokesman Sok Eysan, however, said that the CNRP had little chance of winning a majority in 2018.
“We [the CPP] have five terms of experience already, and before that we had experience since we toppled the Pol Pot regime. Since we brought in national political unity, up through the Paris Agreement, everything was initiated by the Cambodian People’s Party,” he said.