Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC releases final count for commune elections

NEC releases final count for commune elections

Election officials empty a ballot box to begin counting at a polling station earlier this month in Phnom Penh.
Election officials empty a ballot box to begin counting at a polling station earlier this month in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

NEC releases final count for commune elections

The final results released by the National Election Committee (NEC) for the June 4 commune elections show the Cambodian People’s Party taking 1,156 communes to the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s 489 communes, ending the more than monthlong local election process.

As the NEC was still announcing province-by-province results on state broadcaster TVK last evening, it released official documents showing the final tally did not differ much from the preliminary results the election body released shortly after the June 4 ballot.

Only a few communes changed hands during the recount process after the release of the preliminary results. A separate NEC document also shows that the CPP received about half of the ballots cast nationwide during the elections – or 50.76 percent to the CNRP’s 43.83 percent.

A person watches a live telecast of the 2017 national commune elections result on his smartphone yesterday in Phnom Penh.
A person watches a live telecast of the 2017 national commune elections result on his smartphone yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Both the ruling and opposition parties have attempted to present the results of June 4 as a victory, with the CPP noting it retained a significant majority at the commune level and the CNRP noting its large improvements over the 2012 commune elections. The results show the CPP winning more than twice the number of communes won by the CNRP – but still down from the 1,592 of 1,632 communes it won in 2012.

The CNRP drastically improved on the 40 commune councils it won at the 2012 vote, which it contested separately as the Sam Rainsy Party and Human Rights Party. Still, the CPP this time won 6,503 council seats across the country’s 1,646 communes to the CNRP’s 5,007 seats.

After the release of the final results, the CPP released a statement accepting them and calling the elections “free and fair”.

Sok Eysan, a ruling party spokesman, said by telephone the difference in votes received by the two parties of almost 500,000 showed the CPP would win the 2018 national election.

“Their party increased about 90,000 votes and the CPP increased 300,000 votes” compared to their shares in the 2013 national elections, Eysan said. “There is no possibility of the opposition party winning the elections. Absolutely not.”

Meeting with CNRP supporters in Prey Veng province in the morning, opposition leader Kem Sokha drew a graph charting the opposition’s vote share from 2012 to 2017, noting that it had increased from around 30 percent five years ago to 44 percent.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Post's breakdown of seats won in the 2017 and 2012 commune elections.

Sokha, who had set 60 percent as the CNRP’s goal, said he expected the opposition would see a bump in its share of the vote of about 10 percent when focus turns to national issues at next year’s vote. CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann echoed Sokha’s comments and predicted a 15 percent increase for the CNRP at the national election.

“If we have got 44 percent, we can get 56 to 59 percent,” Sovann said, adding that the elections were not “free and fair”, citing an oppressive political environment in the lead up the poll. But he said the NEC performed “OK”.

The Foreign Ministry also released a statement commending the vote. It cited the assessments of election monitors including the International Conference of Asian Political Parties – which an academic paper in May described as a “shadow election observation group” used by authoritarian regimes – saying that the election took place without any signs of “intimidation, coercion and violence”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 people have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly nearly 200 passengers out of Cambodia. The petition is targeted at 15,000 people. Most of the passengers are British nationals, who are stranded in Cambodia after airlines cancelled

  • Many in limbo as tension heightens

    As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home. Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman