The National Election Committee (NEC) on August 1 gave political parties 72 hours to lodge any complaints they may have to the body or the Constitutional Council (CCC). The ultimatum came as it released the preliminary results of the July 23 general election, confirming the ruling party’s sweeping victory.

According to the tally, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had amassed 6,398,311 of the total votes cast, while the royalist FUNCINPEC Party, led by Prince Norodom Chakravuth, won 716,490. The gains translated into 120 parliament seats for the CPP and five for FUNCINPEC, which grabbed one each in Phnom Penh and four provincial constituencies of Kandal, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom and Prey Veng.

NEC chair Prach Chan stressed that parties contesting the election have a 72-hour window during which to air their grievance following the August 1 announcement of the preliminary results.

NEC spokesperson Som Sorida confirmed to The Post on the same day that the body is obligated to declare the official results within three days. In the absence of any complaints, it will officially announce the distribution of parliament seats between the winning parties on August 4.

“If a complaint is lodged, the complainant has 72 hours to submit it to the NEC. We are then committed to addressing the complaint within a further 72 hours,” he explained.

Sorida underlined that if a complainant remained dissatisfied with the NEC’s ruling, they would have the option to lodge an appeal with the CCC within 72 hours of the decision. The supreme legislative body would then take between 10 to 20 days to address the appeal.

FUNCINPEC spokesperson Nhoeun Raden could not be reached for comment on August 1.

CPP spokesperson Sok Eysan celebrated the victory, noting that his ruling party had gathered more votes than in the previous election.

“We are elated and proud of this outcome. This victory has come from the support of the people and their will for the leadership of the CPP,” he said.

Prime minister-in-waiting Hun Manet also extended gratitude towards the leadership of the CPP and members of its committees overseas for participating in and observing the election.

“I offer high congratulations, appreciation and a deep and sincere thank you to the leadership of the CPP, party members at home and abroad for sacrificing their physical and mental strength, devoting their time and funds in participating in the July 23 election”.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the CPP’s triumph is a victory for the Cambodian people both domestically and abroad. He opined that the unification policies of the CPP extended beyond its members, encompassing those from other parties as well.

“In a practical manner, the CPP had established the Supreme Consultation Council,” he said in reference to a committee formed by outgoing Prime Minister Hun Sen following the 2018 general election as a step towards a “culture of dialogue” among all political parties.

“The CPP has opened opportunities for everyone to participate in building or developing the country, rather than sit on the couch and make criticisms, disparage or discourage them, losing sight of the aspects of social development,” he added.

According to the NEC, of the remaining 16 parties contesting the 2023 election, the Khmer National United Party was the only one to break 100,000 votes, collecting 134,258 across the Kingdom. They were followed by the Cambodian Youth Party on 97,412, the Dharmacracy Party on 84,030 and the Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Democracy Party with 52,817 ballots. The votes were dispersed too widely to earn any of the contested seats.

None of the other 12 parties were able to break the 50,000 mark, although the Khmer Anti-overty Party was able to garner 40,096, with the Khmer United Party and Grassroots Democratic Party each topping 30,000.

The Beehive Social Democratic Party, the Cambodian Nationality Party, the Women for Women Party, the Khmer Economic Development Party, the Ekpheap Cheat Khmer Party and the Khmer Conservative Party all earned at least 20,000 votes.

Every one of the smaller parties was able to earn the approval of at least 10,000 of the electorate, with the Farmer’s Party ultimately polling the lowest at just 12,786 ballots, closely behind the Democracy Power Party and People Purpose Party.

Subsequent to these happenings, the National Assembly is scheduled for a two-day session on August 21 and 22. The newly elected government is slated to begin its tenure on August 22, signifying a new phase in Cambodia’s political journey.