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Slim margins in NEC data

Election observers and NEC officials open a ballot box prior to counting votes in Kampong Cham
Election observers and NEC officials open a ballot box prior to counting votes in Kampong Cham. HENG CHIVOAN

Slim margins in NEC data

In what seemed to be a direct response to the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s rejection of the election results, the National Election Commission on Wednesday night released more detailed provincial results.

The NEC statement noted, however, that it would not yet calculate the official seat numbers until it had dealt with electoral complaints.

Although the numbers back up widely disseminated unofficial results giving the Cambodian People’s Party 68 seats in the National Assembly to the CNRP’s 55, all three sets of figures released so far are different, analysts say.

“The NEC’s temporary figures for this moment, NEC’s initial figures broadcast on Sunday night on TVK and the [National Counter Terrorism Committee’s] early figures are all different from each other,” Shiro Harada, a visiting professor at Royal University, said.

The CNRP recently claimed its own results – yet to be released – prove it secured 63 seats, enough to form a government, with the extra seats coming from seven specific provinces.

It added that the party could have won up to 90 seats if voting figures were adjusted for polling irregularities.

Post analysis of the new NEC figures bore out some of the opposition’s claims, finding a narrow margin would have delivered an extra seat for the party in several provinces.

In Kandal, just under 900 extra votes would have won the opposition an additional seat, according to seat allocation formulas outlined in the election law.

Other provinces where the opposition claims its figures show it picking up more seats would require a much larger disparity from the NEC data.

Even 7,000 extra votes in Battambang, where the CNRP won three seats to the opposition’s five, would not garner an extra seat, while 10,000 more votes in Banteay Meanchey would also fail to get the opposition over the line.

Despite widespread irregularities, the CNRP would face an “uphill battle” to claim 63 seats, Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said.

“The CNRP need to come up with proof, and they need to come up with proof quickly,” he said.

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