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Extra seats won spread across country: CNRP

Aggrieved would-be voters take the stage outside CNRP headquarters to offer tales of how they were disenfranchised in Sunday’s National Assembly election.
Aggrieved would-be voters take the stage outside CNRP headquarters to offer tales of how they were disenfranchised in Sunday’s National Assembly election. PHA LINA

Extra seats won spread across country: CNRP

The Cambodia National Rescue Party yesterday revealed a list of provinces in which it believes it has won more seats than the government’s 68-55 election results allow for.

Following the CNRP’s claims it had secured 63 seats – a figure president Sam Rainsy said could increase to 90 seats once polling irregularities are ironed out – lawmaker Son Chhay gave the Post elaborated on the extra “gains”.

Included in the list are Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kandal, Kratie, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap – but finer details are not yet ready for the public, Chhay said.

“We will organise a press conference to announce all the details. The plan is to bring all that information to Phnom Penh to recount and recheck first.”

Chhay added that the CNRP had “two weeks to do it, but for me, two weeks is too long”.

Rainsy told the Post yesterday that if a joint committee investigates the irregularities and results from last Sunday’s election, it will discover the opposition has won between 80 and 90 seats in the 123-seat National Assembly.

His party’s final figures from the poll, which do not factor in irregularities, showed the CNRP had secured 63 seats – enough to govern, he added.

“[Sixty-three] is our figure ... our final result,” Rainsy said. “But I want to specify that ... if we re-adjust this figure for irregularities, disenfranchised voters and ghost voters, we would have won a much a larger estimate.”

“We do not have fully [a number of seats]. We want the committee to investigate. But we would have won more than 80 seats.” Rainsy went on to add that the figure could actually be as high as 90 seats.

“So I think Mr Hun Sen should step down now. The figures are against him.”

Rainsy’s words came after an address to hundreds of supporters at CNRP headquarters yesterday morning, ahead of remarks made by Prime Minister Hun Sen later in the day in which he expressed a willingness to submit to an international investigation.

During his speech, Rainsy called on the CPP “trinity” – Hun Sen, Senate president Chea Sim and National Assembly president Heng Samrin – to resign in shame after each of their provinces fell to the CNRP.

“They must step down,” he said. “Before the election, the CPP claimed it had five million votes. They received not much more than two million.”

After deputy leader Kem Sokha also spoke, those in the crowd, many with ID cards in hand, told their stories of being unable to vote.

Khieu Lay, an evictee of Borei Keila, who now lives at a relocation site near Oudong Mountain in Kandal province, said many in her community had arrived at the polling station to find their names missing from the voter list.

“Most of them were not allowed to vote,” she said. “So we need the CNRP, NGOs and the international community to intervene to urge the NEC to reopen polling so they can.”

CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua said the NEC had a responsibility to deal with the people’s complaints.

“We are claiming that we have 63 seats,” she continued, adding the CNRP had tallied vote counts across the country to arrive at its figure.

“If the NEC keeps saying we have 55 seats, give us the proof. We have proof we have 63 seats.”

Preliminary government figures put the count at 68 to 55 in favour of the CPP, but final results aren’t due for another two weeks.

But Cheam Yeap, a senior CPP lawmaker, said his party had not lost the election and it was the CNRP’s culture not to accept the result.

“You could hold this election 1,000 times and the CNRP would reject the results 1,000 times – even though it’s right,” he said.

NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha declined to comment on whether the CNRP’s results were in any way accurate, but said the NEC allowed political parties to submit evidence of irregularities between August 2 and 6, which it would then review.

The CNRP plans more events in which voters are invited to document their stories of not being able to vote.

In response to rumours the CNRP had, in fact, planned a mass rally if its requests for a committee are not met, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said yesterday he wanted the opposition to respect the law if anything was planned and suggested demonstrations be confined to Freedom Park.

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