Source: Phnom Penh Post
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.
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.
“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”.