The government of the State of Cambodia (SOC) said on Feb. 23 that it has almost
2 million people registered as members of Cambodian People's Party (CPP).
"We expect to get the 2 million figure very soon. Now we are preparing for the
start of the election campaign," Khieu Kanharith, SOC's spokesman stated in
a press conference on Feb. 23.
Out of the 22 applications for political parties submitted to UNTAC, twenty Cambodian
political parties have qualified to compete in the constituent election scheduled
to start on May 23.
According to Kanharith, it appears that the CPP is optimistic it will gain as much
as half of the registered voters as their supporters. "Many people in the CPP
expect to have the majority. We expect that among all registered voters about 57
percent will be members of the CPP," said Kanharith.
Opposition parties have complained that Cambodian People's Party intimidation in
recent weeks has effectively succeeded, and that UNTAC's lack of action against political
violence has increased the possibility of a People's Party plurality.
Asked about the percentage of the voters in favor of the party, he said, "Maybe
50 to 52 percent will vote for the CPP, plus about 10 percent of the non-CPP members."
"The party members have their families. Though they (families) are not the party
members, they will vote for CPP," he added.
Over 4.6 million of eligible Khmer voters have been registered since UNTAC closed
down polling registration tents on Jan. 31.