Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Council campaign begins

Council campaign begins

Council campaign begins

090504_01.jpg
090504_01.jpg

CPP fires first salvo with thousand-strong march through city.

Photo by:

TANG CHHIN SOTHY

CPP supporters rally Saturday ahead of May 17's provincial, district and municipal council election. AFP

SEVERAL thousand supporters of the Cambodian People's Party marched through the capital Saturday to kick off the two-week election campaign running up to May 17's provincial, district and municipal council polls.

Just four parties - the CPP, Sam Rainsy Party, Norodom Ranariddh Party and Funcinpec - will take part in the election, with voting restricted to the country's 11,353 commune councillors.

"The general political environment during the early part of the election campaign has been calm, and we haven't received any complaints from the political parties," said Tep Nytha, secretary general of the National Election Committee.

But he said that due to the indirect nature of the election, many campaign activities were being conducted within the country's 1,621 commune offices rather than in public.

Senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said the CPP would hold additional rallies as the campaign unfolds in order to educate people about its political program and encourage other parties' councillors to vote for the CPP.

But the opposition raised criticisms the campaign would make no difference to the election results, and that its "indirect" nature made it irrelevant for the Cambodian people.

"The SRP is holding campaigns at its commune councillors' offices to strengthen their determination not to sell their consciences to the CPP," said Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovann, referring to its recent allegations of vote-buying by the ruling party.

Party President Sam Rainsy told the Post Thursday that the party would also run a "highly visible" campaign that would disseminate the SRP's message, despite the May 17 poll being a foregone conclusion.

"This is more than a campaign limited to the action voters. It is intended for the 8 million potential voters in the next election," he said.

Local election monitor Comfrel has said it will boycott the elections, claiming that since the poll is restricted to party representatives it will not reflect the will of the people. 

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SEBASTIAN STRANGIO

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh