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Two parties reject results of election

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Khmer Economic Development Party leader Huon Reach Chamroeun (right) debates with former Cambodia National Rescue Party president Kem Sokha (centre) at a political forum in 2013. Pha Lina

Two parties reject results of election

Two minor political parties have refused to accept the results of the Kingdom’s July 29 national elections. One has filed a complaint with the Constitutional Council demanding a recount, while the other has warned that it will lead demonstrations.

A National Election Committee (NEC) official said while the complaint was valid, it should not have been sent to the council, while the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman said the complaint went against the peoples’ will.

While the NEC is slated to announce preliminary results later this week and official results on August 15, unofficial calculations have shown that the CPP will control all 125 seats in the National Assembly.

Speaking on Sunday, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan urged opposition parties to learn “new strategies” before competing with his party.

Huon Reach Chamroeun, president of the Khmer Economic Development Party (KEDP), said during a press conference on Friday at its Phnom Penh headquarters that it demands the results are scrapped and the election be held again.

“The KEDP declines to accept the preliminary election results, and we demand the government inspect the election ballots again and organise another election,” he said.

In its statement, the KEDP claimed the voter turnout figure of over 82 per cent was fraudulent and claimed the CPP’s victory “was not real”.

“If there is no resolution and the government officially accepts the election result, the KEDP will demonstrate to deny it,” said Reach Chamroeun.

Similarly, the Reaksmey Khemera Party (RKP) last week filed a complaint with the Constitutional Council “to re-count the election ballots” in Kampong Thom, Kampong Speu, Kandal and Kampot provinces, claiming there were “irregularities”.

Additionally, Sin Sopheap, the RKP’s president has written eight letters to eight different embassies in Phnom Penh to inform them that his party “definitely will not accept ” the election results.

But Eysan said on Sunday that the election result showed his party was supported by the will of the Cambodian people.

“The election result is an expression of the right of the Cambodian people . . . it came from a democratic, liberal, multi-party election, which means the result is also democratic [even though the country will be led] by one party. This is the will of the people."

“People who lost should not be disappointed with the Cambodian people who own the country and its democracy. They should accept it. The landslide victory of the CPP reflects the failure of the competing parties."

“There is no question about it. It’s not too late for them to withdraw to learn new strategies,” Eysan said.

NEC deputy secretary-general Som Sorida told The Post on Sunday that denying the election results is a right of expression, but that submitting a complaint to the Constitutional Council instead of through the NEC is “not in accordance with legal procedure.”

He said even though some political parties have denied the election results, the NEC will proceed to announce the preliminary and official results as planned.

Sorida also said the threat of protests is due to misunderstanding the election process and legal matters.

“I think it is their right to express opinions . . . However, the right must be exercised in accordance with law and order,” he said.

He said complaints about the election results must go through the commune and provincial election committees before they reach the NEC.

“The NEC will issue the preliminary election results. This is the procedure. We will not wait for parties and answer to parties that accept or disregard the election results,” he said.

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