As the Kingdom enters the final week before the national election on July 29, party leaders are already putting down predictions about the numbers they will post.
Stopping short of predicting a landslide victory, Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan said it would capture a 51 percent majority.
Sam Inn, the secretary-general of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP), expressed the hope that his party would take 42 of the National Assembly’s 125 seats.
Inn even went so far as to say that if members of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) hadn’t called for a boycott of the polls, his GDP could have captured a majority.
Eysan told The Post that the CPP is confident of winning, although he doesn’t expect a landslide victory.
“We understand [we can win] 50 percent plus one. After we win, we can establish a new government. However, we are not sure if we will be able to get a two-thirds majority."
“We will win because we have accomplished many achievements and offer many actual advantages ... People’s living standard is improving and the country as a whole has also benefited,” Eysan said.
Inn, who is also GDP’s spokesman, told The Post his party has set its sights on winning at least 41 National Assembly seats but noted that it was working against boycott calls.
“According to statistics, there are 8.3 million [registered to vote]. The CPP had 3.5 million [votes in 2013], so the GDP could potentially get four to five million voters who would like change."
“The challenge is the ‘Sleep At Home’ campaign of Sam Rainsy. Nonetheless, we still want to destroy the two-thirds majority of the CPP, so we want 42 seats in the National Assembly,” he said.
Sam Rainsy, the exiled former president of the court dissolved CNRP, has been leading calls for people to stay at home and sleep on election day instead of going to vote.
“If there was no one urging people to sleep at home ... the GDP would win a majority of more than 51 percent,” Inn claimed.
Citing reasons for his optimism, Inn said the ruling party’s failure to make political reforms, the legacy of the late GDP founder Kem Ley and the dissolution of the CNRP all served to benefit his party.
League for Democracy Party president Khem Veasna predicted a win for caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen at his party’s congress on July 19.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the CPP’s prediction is more credible than the GDP’s, and that anything less than an all-out victory would leave it red-faced.
“Anything less than a landslide victory and a turnout fewer than the previous election would lead to the CPP’s defeat."
“It has no worthy rivals, has almost complete control of the electorate, a virtual monopoly of the media, launched a string of populist policies to gain electoral support, and has the direct and active involvement of our prime minister."
“All senior leaders and rank and file of his party [took part] in a prolonged massive election campaign, including canvassing, which began well before the start of the campaign period,” Mong Hay claimed.