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

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro