Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP win 75pc of council vote: NEC

CPP win 75pc of council vote: NEC

CPP win 75pc of council vote: NEC

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090519_03.jpg

National Election Committee figures confirm the ruling party's sweep of Sunday's council polls, amid continuing accusations of vote buying from the Sam Rainsy Party.

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SOVANN PHILONG

Keo Phalla (left), director of the NEC ‘s legal services department, speaks during the release of provisional poll results Monday.

THE National Election Committee (NEC) released provisional results Monday of the weekend's provincial, district and municipal elections, confirming early tallies that showed the expected win of the Cambodian People's Party.

However, Sam Rainsy Party officials say they lost about 5 percent of their 2,660 voters to bribery, continuing their allegations that the ruling

party had bought off its supporters in a bid to weaken the opposition at the grassroots level.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said his party had filed 10 bribery complaints with the NEC, but said he had little hope of a favourable outcome.

"The NEC is not independent, it is controlled by the ruling party. We just want to show the people and the international community," he said, adding, howver, that despite the interference, the opposition had made gains.

"Regardless of the result, we are very happy and proud because this is a big victory for the SRP. Very soon we will have about 600 people who can work in the local administration," he said.

According to the Kingdom's election body, the CPP received 8,545 (75.6 percent) of the 11,307 votes cast at the provincial and municipal level, compared with 2,317 (20.5 percent) for the SRP and 467 for the NRP-Funcinpec alliance.

Numbers were similar at the district level, where the CPP led the pack with 8,470 of 11,334 votes (74.7 percent).The SRP won 2,332 (20.6 percent) and the royalists 526 votes for the district councils.

NEC Chairman Im Suosdey said final results and seat-by-seat breakdowns would be released as soon as the NEC had a chance to review complaints filed by political parties.

He said seven complaints were received as the country's 11,353 commune councilors went to the polls Sunday - six procedural complaints from the SRP and NRP, and one from the CPP accusing Funcinpec activists of using a government vehicle to transport voters to the polling station.

Provincial Election Committees also received 16 complaints during the two-week election campaign, three of which are awaiting appeal at the national level.

As polls closed Sunday, SRP lawmaker Ho Vann repeated additional allegations of CPP vote-buying, claiming 32 of the SRP's 266 councilors in Phnom Penh were bought for between  US$1,000 and $5,000 each.

"Some of the SRP's councilors are poor and they need money for their living. It is difficult for us to control them because of poverty," he said.

But senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap rejected opposition accusations, saying that the party's success was a result of its overall efforts to develop the country. "I would like to clarify that our party does not have a culture of buying people," he said.

"Maybe some of [the SRP's] supporters voted for the CPP because they think the political principles of the CPP are good."

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