The ruling Cambodian People’s Party today saw a diminution of seats — its first since democratic elections began in 1993 — dropping 22 seats to hold 68 out of 123, with the opposition eroding its margin.
CPP spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told the Post by phone that early results showed the CPP won 68 seats to the opposition's 55. The government's coalition partner, royalist party Funcinpec, won no seats.
But the vote was marred by irregularities, with monitors warning that upwards of 1 million voters may have been left off the voter list. And though polls — which opened at 7am — were calm for the most part, isolated incidents of violence in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Prey Veng attested to the unusually tense atmosphere surrounding this election, the most fiercely contested in a decade.
In a letter disseminated that night, opposition leader Sam Rainsy urged people "to keep calm, and wait to find the official results".
That letter came shortly after Rainsy withdrew an earlier letter in which he claimed the opposition had won.