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Official preliminary results show higher voter turnout

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People go to vote on July 29 in Phnom Penh.

Official preliminary results show higher voter turnout

The National Election Committee (NEC) on Saturday announced the official preliminary results of the sixth Cambodian national elections.

The revised figures show voter turnout on July 29 was in fact 83.02 per cent – higher than the 82.89 per cent revealed in unofficial results shortly after polling had closed.

The breakdown of votes collated as parliamentary seats are due to be announced on Wednesday.

According to the NEC’s official preliminary results, the number of people who turned out to vote was 6,956,900, or 83.02 per cent of registered voters.

The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) received the vast majority of votes, garnering 4,889,113, while Funcinpec received 374,510 votes and the League for Democracy Party (LDP) 309,364. The Khmer Will Party got 212, 869 votes.

Although the breakdown of seats to be taken in the new parliament has not yet been revealed, according to the calculation methods stated in the National Election Law, the CPP should be able to sweep all 125 seats in the National Assembly.

After the announcement of preliminary results, the NEC allows parties that ran in the elections to file a complaint if they disagree with the figures.

If no party appeals or any complaints are dealt with in a timely fashion, the official final results will be declared on Wednesday.

“I have nothing to say and we are waiting for the announcement of the official results on August 15. I will speak when we know the official results,” Nheb Bun Chin, the deputy head of Funcinpec and a party spokesperson, said on Sunday.

Neither LDP secretary-general Chen Thun nor its president Khem Veasna could be reached for comment on the announcement on Sunday.

Khmer Will Party president Kong Monika on Saturday sent a letter to its members expressing his satisfaction with the election results after his new party received more votes than 16 other parties that contested the polls.

“I, Kong Monika, head of Khmer Will Party with the sun logo and which was number 17 [on the ballot], am delighted with the temporary election results of the sixth national elections as declared on August 11, as although being a new party we managed to gain support higher than 16 other parties,” he said.

Monika praised the spirit of Cambodians nationwide in overcoming negative influences during the election process from some groups. Enlightened Cambodians, he said, would not allow anyone to tell them to boycott the elections.

Yoeung Sotheara, the legal and observation official at independent watchdog the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel), said he thought any expectations parties other than the CPP may have had of winning seats in the national assembly were a fantasy, as the figures showed that the votes they had received would not be enough.

“If we look at the official results, the other parties’ votes cannot be translated into seats. Furthermore, we do not have any laws or articles for politicians and parties to share seats with another party which did not receive enough votes [to win a seat],” he said.

Sotheara said although the Cambodian election was approved by the NEC, and national and international monitors and party officials saying it was transparent and fair, donor countries had expressed disappointment and issued statements criticising the polls.

Many congratulations

However, caretaker prime minister and CPP president Hun Sen said on Saturday that many countries – China, Russia, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam – had sent letters congratulating him.

“I would like to thank all of you who still believe in me and the CPP. I really am not going to disappoint you. Apparently, Cambodia needs [longer] peace so that we have time to develop the country,” he wrote on Facebook.

According to an NEC announcement on Friday, the election body received 2,638 complaints relating to voting and ballot counting during the elections.

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