Posts filed under ‘Election’

GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS

The Phnom Penh Post – October 03, 2008

Key government positions are filled following the July 27 election

Commissions of the National Assembly
President of the NA: Heng Samrin
First deputy president of the NA: Nguon Nhel
Second deputy president of the NA: Say Chhum            
Chairman of the Commission of Human Rights, Complaint Resolution, Investigation & National Assembly-Senate Relations  
Khuon Sundary
        
Chairman of the Commission of Public Works, Transport, Telecommunications, Posts, Industry, Mines, Energy & Commerce Nin Saphon

Chairman of the Commission of Planning, Investment, Agriculture Rural Development, Environment & Water Resources Try Chheang Huot   
Chairman of the Commission of Interior, National Defence, Investigation, Anti-Corruption & Public Functions Un Ning
   
Chairman of the Commission of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information & Media Cheang Vun

Chairman of the Commission of Legislature & Justice Pen Pannha   

Chairman of the Commission of Economy, Finance, Banking & Audits Cheam Yeap

Chairman of the Commission of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture & Tourism Mom Chimhuy

Chairman of the Commission of Public Health, Social Work, Labour & Women’s Affairs Ho Naun
 
Ministries
Prime Minister
Hun Sen

Deputy Prime Ministers
Sar Kheng, Sok An, Tea Banh, Hor Namhong. Men Sam AN (F), Bin Chhin, Nhiek Bun Chhay, Keat Chhon, Yim Chhay Ly    

Senior Ministers
Im Chhun Lim, Chhay Than, Cham Prasidh, Mok Mareth, Nhim Vanda, Tao Seng Huor, Khun Haing, Ly Thuch, Kol Pheng, Sun Chanthol, Veng Sereyvuth, Nuth Sokhom, Om Yentieng, Ieng Mouly, Va Kimhong, Yim Nol La    
                
Council of Ministers
Minister:
Sok An   
Secretaries of State: Prak Sokhonn, Bun Uy, Seng Lim Neou, Msas Loas, Chan Tany, Ngor Srun, Svay Sitha, Sok Pheng, Keo Saphal, Khim Bo, Chek Leng, Sim Vanna, Tep Nonnry, Chrea Sochenda, Phay Siphan, In Vireakcheat   

Ministry of the Interior   
Minister: Sar Kheng   
Secretaries of State: Em Sam An, Prum Sokha, Nouth Sa An, Sin Pinsen, Sak Setha, Ngy Chanphal, Khann Savoeun, Chou Bun Eng, Pol Lim   
           
Ministry of Defence
Minister: Tea Banh   
Secretaries of State: Chay Saing Yun, Moeung Samphan, Neang Phat, Phan Nguon, Elvan Sarat, Hun Phoeung   
       
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation
Minister: Hor Namhong   
Secretaries of State: Long Visalo, Ouch Borith, Kao Kim Houm, Ung Sean, Sun Saphoeun, Hak Savuth   
       
Ministry of Economy & Finance
Minister: Keat Chhon   
Secretaries of State: Ouk Rabun, Aun Porn Moniroth, Kong Vibol, Bun Sam, Chea Peng Chheang, Ou Bunlong, Ung Tea Seam, So Victor   
       
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries   
Minister: Chan Sarun   
Secretaries of State: Chan Tong Yves, Por Try, Lim Sokhun, Teng Lao, Ouk Sokhonn, Kieng Vang, Om Kimsear   
   
Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction
Minister: Im Chhun Lim   
Secretaries of State: Chhan Saphan, Nuth Narang, Prak Ham, Phoeung Sophoan, Roth Sarin, Chhim Kayleang, Kim Kosal

Ministry of Commerce
Minister: Cham Prasidh   
Secretaries of State: Kem Sithan, Pan Sorasak, Ok Bung, Chan Nora, Keo Soknay, Mao Thora, Var Cheang   
           
Ministry of Industry, Mines & Energy   
Minister: Suy Sem    
Secretaries of State: Ith Praing, Khlaut Randy, Nhek Chroeung, Chea Sieng Hong, Sat Samy, Tann Kin Vin, Phork Sovanrith   
         
Ministry of Planning
Minister: Chhay Than   
Secretaries of State: Ou Orhat, Hul Lim, Ouk Chay, Hou Taing Eng, Nger Chhayleang, In Saroeung, So Nath   
       
Ministry of Education, Youth & Sport
Minister: Im Sethy   
Secretaries of State: Pith Chamnan, Bun Sok, Mak Vann, Nath Bunroeun, Chey Chap, Ouk Moun, Phoeurng Sackona (F)
       
Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans & Youth Rehabilitation
Minister: Ith Sam Heng   
Secretaries of State: Nim Thoth, Yi Yaun, Say Siphonn, Som Chan Rem, Mut Khiev, Sem Sokha, Hav Bunse, Tor Soeuth   
       
Ministry of Rural Development       
Minister: Chea Sophara   
Secretaries of State: Suos Kong, In Chantha, Ly Pros, Lon Phon, Sao Chivoan, Try Meng, Sim Sun       
           
Ministry of Environment       
Minister: Mok Mareth   
Secretaries of State: Prach Sun, Khieu Muth, Khong Sam Nuon, Yin Kim Sean, Thuk Kroeun Vutha, Hem Kolboth, Sim Souleng   
               
Ministry of Water Resources & Meteorology       
Minister: Lim Kean Hor   
Secretaries of State: Sam Sarith, Veng Sakhon, Phang Sareth, Sao Sereymony, Tan Vanthara, Bun Hean, Sing Kiri   
   
Ministry of Information
Minister: Khieu Kanharith   
Secretaries of State: Uk Prathna, Mao Ayuth, Thach Phen, Nouv Sovathero, Chan Savuth, Hor Sopheap, Leav Sinara   
           
Ministry of Justice
Minister: Ang Vong Vathana   
Secretaries of State: Hy Sophea, Long Phol, Chan Sotheavy (F), Sam Sophal, Ngor Sovann, Prum Sithra, Meach Sam On
   
Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations & Inspection       
Minister: Som Kimsour   
Secretaries of State: Chheng Saroeun, Hong Them, Kang Nem, Phou Sothea, Tuot Lux, Thach Khom, Duch Sovanary, Sopheak Thavy   
       
Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications
Minister: So Khun   
Secretaries of State: Chin Bun Sean, La Narath, Sarak Khan, Ros Samay, Khay Khun Heng, Ek Vandy, Kuoch Ky   
   
Ministry of Health
Minister: Mam Bunheng   
Secretaries of State: Heng Taykry, Ung Phyrun, Eng Huot, Sok Pheng, Ouk Monna (F), Te Kuyseang, Chou Yinsim       

Ministry of Public Works & Transport
Minister: Tram Iv Tek
Secretaries of State: Ing Bun Hov, Mom Sibon, Soung Heng, Touch Chankosal, Kep Than, Lim Sidenine, Nou Sovath   

Ministry of Culture & Fine Arts
Minister: Him Chhem   
Secretaries of State: Khim Sarith, Chuch Phoeug, Khov Menghean, Ming Kosny, Ok Socheat, Sam Sokun, Thai Noraksathya, Meng Hour   
       
Ministry of Tourism
Minister: Thong Khon   
Secretaries of State: Sam Prumnear, Ros Ren, Sieng Kim Han, So Mara, Chum Iek, Kim Ouchansamith, Ly Bunthoeun, Kor Sumsaroeut   
       
Ministry of Cults & Religions
Minister: Min Khin   
Secretaries of State: Phlok Phorn, Chhorn Iem, Men Han, Dok Narin, Sos Mossin, Norak Ratanakvathanor, Phon Phalla   
               
Ministry of Women’s Affairs
Minister: Ing Kantha Phavi (F)
Secretaries of State: Kheng Samvada (F), Khim Chamroeun (F), Chan Sorey (F), Im Sithe (F), Sy Define (F), San Arun (F), Sivann Botum (F)   

Ministry of Labour & Vocational Training
Minister: Vong Sauth   
Secretaries of State: Pich Sophoan, Othsman Hassan, Kann Man, Prak Chantha (F), Oum Mean, Huy Han Song, Mon Vannak   
               
State Secretariat of Public Affairs
Secretary of State: Pich Bunthin   
           
State Secretariat of Civil Aviation   
Secretary of State: Mao Havanall

Source: the council of ministers/ compiled by will hine

October 6, 2008 at 7:14 am Leave a comment

Hun Sen elected as Cambodian PM for five more years

AFP – September 25, 2008

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen who has been re-elected at a session boycotted by parties disputing the election result

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia’s parliament re-elected Hun Sen as prime minister Thursday, extending his 23-year grip on power, at a session boycotted by parties disputing the results of the July general election.

Only 94 of the 123 elected members of parliament showed up, and unanimously raised their hands to approve the nomination of the parliament’s president and the new government.

Hun Sen promised before the session that his government would use its new five-year term to “accelerate development and push for deep and wide reforms” of the southeast Asian nation.

His Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) took 90 seats in the July 27 election, while the main opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) received 26 seats.

The royalist parties — Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party — picked up two seats each, and the Human Rights Party (HRP) three seats.

SRP and HRP lawmakers did not attended Thursday’s session and have claimed widespread irregularities in the July poll.

The opposition leaders could not be immediately reached for comment.

The CPP’s overwhelming majority in parliament means this year is the first time since 1993 that the country has not been left in political deadlock after an election.

The previous general election, in July 2003, led to a year of stalemate as parties wrangled over forming a coalition government.

Hun Sen has a reputation for trampling on human rights to secure power, but a booming economy has bolstered his standing in a country still struggling to lift itself from the ranks of the world’s poorest.

September 26, 2008 at 5:58 am Leave a comment

CPP’s control of parliamentarian seats help secure policy sustainability in Cambodia

By Xia Lin, Liu Lu

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — The Cambodian National Election Committee (NEC) declared Tuesday the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has secured 90 seats, or over two thirds of the 123 seats, at top legislative body in the general election, thus enabling CPP to have stronger management of the country.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) won 26 seats and the Human Rights Party (HRP) received three seats, and the Funcinpec Party and the Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) got two seats each, according to official results declared by NEC on Tuesday.

The first meeting of Cambodia’s new parliament is scheduled for Sept. 24, ahead of forming the new government.

“The CPP’s dominance will secure peace and stability in Cambodia, which is very precious for the country and its people,” said local economic analyst David Phat, who was born here and endured the war-torn years of Cambodia.

Phat said that primarily, continued governance by CPP can guarantee policy sustainability in its upcoming term, adding that the party in its current term has pursed political stability for the sake of economic development, and regional coordination for the sake of international cooperation.

“Political stability can lead to economic prosperity,” he told Xinhua.

Under the CPP governance, the Cambodian economy is expected to remain nearly double-digit growth rate and the per capita GDP will probably top 1,000 U.S. dollars by 2014, he added.

Pen Samitthy, editor-in-chief of the country’s largest Khmer-language daily newspaper the Rasmei Kampuchea, agreed that the political and economic situation will be further improved as CPP establishes the new government right after the general election.

“CPP will enjoy a larger space and better conditions, so it can lead the government more efficiently,” he told Xinhua.

According to the Constitution, the party winning majority of the seats at the National Assembly will establish the government. Law can be passed with support from 50 percent plus one seat at the National Assembly.

The focus will be our economy after the political situation is settled, and especially, the foreign investment will increase, said Pen Samitthy.

“Everything will be better,” he added.

Hu Jinlin, a Chinese merchant and major electric appliances dealer in Phnom Penh, echoed the above prediction, saying that national policy sustainability will stay, as CPP grips bigger power and Hun Sen himself can manipulate more development issues.

“The results are a good message for us. They will stabilize and promote the middle- and long-term investment in Cambodia. We see a clear prospect and know that the situation won’t change much. Especially, more Chinese people will come to find their opportunities because the two countries have shared decades of friendly cooperation and China is Cambodia’s major donor and investor,” he told Xinhua.

Suy Sok Khun, senior CPP cadre and veteran reporter at Chinese-language newspaper the Commercial News, told Xinhua that the strong economic performance under the CPP governance in the past few years has boosted its electoral results.

“Hun Sen and senior CPP leaders used to like citing positive economic figures and development of infrastructure as the major achievements of the government. Most voters accepted this and deem CPP is capable,” he said.

Official records showed that Cambodian had 11 percent of economic growth on average in the past three years, the highest among Southeast Asian countries; the per capita GDP rose from 448 U.S. dollars in 2005 to 594 U.S. dollars in 2007; and the foreign reserves from 890 million U.S. dollars in 2005 to 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2007.

Meanwhile, major national roads, bridges and power projects have also been constructed countrywide, which improved the kingdom’s traffic and power network to an unprecedented level.

In addition, said Suy, there were also a big number of inertia voters, who thought that those who did well in the past should be encouraged to stay on their posts in the future.

“One more message that we can feel from the results is that CPP becomes more consolidated than ever before,” he added.

However, a source close to the Council of Ministers said on condition of anonymity that any coin has two sides and the landslide victory may also push the giant party to turn a blind eye to its internal problems and govern the kingdom in a pampered way.

Alleged corruption and land grabbing have haunted the CPP government and officials for a long time and drained some voters’ confidence and ballots to the major opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), which in effect surpassed Funcinpec during the Commune Councils Election in April 2007 to become the second largest party of the country, said the source.

“If part of SRP members hadn’t changed their flag to found the Human Rights Party (HRP) right before the general election, SRP might have been closer to CPP now,” he said.

What’s more, this overall victory in the election may bear out the assessment of some CPP members that occasional corruption and land grabbing are not as destructive as NGOs and opposition parties thought, and those with critic rhetoric are not worth fearing, he said.

“This frame of mind will inevitably fuel their future wrongdoings and even arrogance in its management of the country,” he added.

CPP was established in 1951 and has governed the kingdom since 1993. It now has around 5 million members, over one third of Cambodia’s total population.

For the general election held on July 27, 11 political parties and 8,125,529 voters were registered, while 15,255 polling stations were set up nationwide and 17,000 local and international observers watched the process going. 

 
Editor: An

September 3, 2008 at 1:49 am Leave a comment

Cambodia announces final official result of general election

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — Cambodia’s National Election Committee (NEC) Tuesday announced the final official result of the4th mandate election of members of the National Assembly.

NEC Secretary General Tep Nytha declared the official results from province to province on national television and radio.

According to the final icial results, the Cambodian People’s Party(CPP) won 90 seats, the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) 26, the Human Rights Party (HRP) 2, the Funcinpec Party 2, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) 2 seats.

Tep Nytha said that the oldest Member of Parliament is Chea Sut from CPP, who was born in 1928.

Altogether 11 political parties had run for the July 27 election this year. A total of 8,125,529 voters were registered to vote at 15,255 polling stations nationwide and 17,000 local and international observers watched the polling process, according to NEC figures.

The voter turnout rate this year was only 75 percent, lower than 83 percent in 2003, 94 percent in 1998 and 90 percent in 1993,said NEC. 

 
Editor: An

September 3, 2008 at 1:44 am Leave a comment

Eng Chhay Eang to give up position as SRP secretary general

The Phnom Penh Post – August 20, 2008

Written by Sebastian Strangio and Meas Sokchea   

The opposition stalwart will step aside for the second time in three years but only after the party’s election complaints have been resolved

OPPOSITION lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang plans to resign as secretary general of the Sam Rainsy Party, but only after the party’s complaints about the conduct of last month’s national election have been resolved, party officials say.

“Eng Chhay Eang has not decided to quit his position immediately, but after the resolution of the election complaints he plans to resign,” said SRP Senator Thach Setha, speaking on behalf of the secretary general.

Mu Sochua, SRP deputy secretary general, said the party had received no official notification of Eng Chhay Eang’s impending resignation.

“That is his own wish and his own decision,” she said Tuesday.

She added that the party was  currently entirely focused on gathering evidence that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party committed electoral fraud through the manipulation of voter lists  and the misuse of 10-18 forms during the election period.

This will be the second time Eng Chhay Eang has resigned the post of secretary general during his 13-year career with the party.

After occupying the post for six years, he resigned in late 2005, citing health issues and a problem with gambling.

He was reelected to the position in September 2007, drawing complaints from SRP-affiliated trade unions that his history of gambling would harm the party’s image in the run-up to the 2008 elections.

“This resignation is not related to gambling,” said Thach Setha, adding that Eng Chhay Eang was quitting because the heavy responsibilities of the position were becoming a burden.

Koul Panha, executive director of election monitor Comfrel, said he did not know the exact  reason for Eng Chhay Eang’s resignation.

But he said the party was now  looking to move forward after an election that saw large gains for the CPP.

“I think the SRP intends to establish a coalition and a new strategy for future elections, and they might need new people to work on that,” he said.

August 21, 2008 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Cambodia’s opposition has key role to play

United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong - August 20, 2008

Hong Kong, China — The ruling Cambodian People’s Party won a landslide victory in the country’s general election on July 27, claiming 90 out of 123 seats in the National Assembly, the lower house in the bicameral parliamentary system – although final results will not be announced till September.

This party almost wiped out its long-standing coalition partner, the Funcinpec party, which saw its seats reduced from 26 to two. Two newly formed parties, the Norodom Ranariddh Party and the Human Rights Party, took two and three seats respectively, while the opposition Sam Rainsy Party increased its seats from 24 to 26.

At first all four small parties rejected the results of the election, alleging it was “rigged” when names of legitimate voters were deleted from electoral rolls while illegitimate voters were allowed to vote. Apparently attracted by the winning party’s offer of government positions, Funcinpec soon changed its mind and accepted the election results.

Later on, the Norodom Ranariddh Party also changed its mind, apparently in exchange for the winning party’s support for a royal pardon for its leader, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who faces an 18-month jail sentence for breach of trust and who has been living in self-imposed exile abroad.

The other two parties, Sam Rainsy and Human Rights, have however continued to reject the election results and have filed complaints against election irregularities. They have also threatened to boycott the opening of the new Parliament.

Hun Sen, the incumbent prime minister and vice president of the winning Cambodian People’s Party, has angrily reacted to this threat and has warned that the seats of the boycotting parties would be taken away from them and given to other parties, although there are no constitutional provisions for such a measure.

In the midst of this post-election conflict, it has been announced that the King of Cambodia will act according to the country’s Constitution and summon all the lawmakers-elect to the first meeting of the new Parliament on Sept. 24. The Sam Rainsy Party has said that its lawmakers-elect will not be sworn in and take up their seats until its complaints have been properly addressed.

As is widely known, the winning party – the former communist party that has ruled Cambodia for over 20 years – has complete control over all of the country’s institutions from top to bottom, including the two adjudicating mechanisms for election irregularities, that is, the National Election Committee, which is also an election management board, and the Constitutional Council.

It is very unlikely that the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party will have their complaints addressed properly by these two institutions.

In the meantime the ruling Cambodian People’s Party seems set to prevent these two parties from playing any active role in the new Parliament, especially the Sam Rainsy Party whose leader, Sam Rainsy, has had continued acrimonious relations with Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is known as “the strongman of Cambodia.”

If the ruling party uses its overwhelming majority to forge ahead with the marginalization of the opposition, the Cambodian system of government will evolve into an elected dictatorship – all the more so when its judiciary, as is also well known, is under political control. With command over Parliament and control of all the country’s institutions, the ruling party can, as it has done before, enact any law and amend the Constitution to remove all obstacles to its rule.

This development is a break from the practice of the previous Parliament, in which the opposition Sam Rainsy Party had 24 seats and an important role as chair of two out of nine parliamentary committees. The new situation is not conducive to the development of the liberal democracy Cambodia has embraced in its Constitution.

With the absence of an opposition role, the new Parliament cannot be seen as representing the entire nation, only the majority of its citizens who voted for the Cambodian People’s Party. This Parliament will lose its status and role as one of the three branches of government.

Checks and balances between these three branches and the separation of powers will completely disappear. Cambodia will then become practically a one-party state, a development which is not friendly to democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

In order to avoid all these negative developments, Cambodia’s new Parliament should continue the practice of its predecessor. In order to represent the entire nation it must allow the opposition parties to be an integral part of the Parliament and assume the chairmanship of some of its nine committees, so the opposition can play an active role in the governance of the nation.

(Lao Mong Hay is a senior researcher at the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong. He was previously director of the Khmer Institute of Democracy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and a visiting professor at the University of Toronto in 2003. In 1997, he received an award from Human Rights Watch and the Nansen Medal in 2000 from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.)

August 21, 2008 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

SRP defectors get top posts as Sam Rainsy complains to UN

Phnom Penh Post – August 14, 2008

Written by Post Staff   

As those who jumped ship pre-election now reap the benefits, their erstwhile party says it will not drop its claims of electoral fraud  

THE ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) released a draft of its new coalition government this week in which at least 37 former members of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) were appointed positions ranging from secretary to undersecretary of state.

Sok Pheng, who led a mass defection of SRP members to the CPP a few months before national elections and strongly criticized the SRP during the national polls in July, said that he received no official information about future appointments but was ready to accept whatever post was offered.

“I joined the CCP because it offered more possibilities to help the nation,” Sok Pheng told the Post on Tuesday. “The SRP could not move forward.”

Pheng was named secretary of state for the Council of Ministers, according to the list of appointments in the new coalition government. Other defectors were also given plum appointments.

SRP spokesman Son Chhay said the party didn’t care about the appointments and that the defectors were simply looking out for themselves rather than the nation. “It is the CCP policy to make these appointments for their own benefit,” Chhay said.

Government spokesman and Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said the appointments are not yet official and could change.

“I cannot say how many government positions will be offered to former SRP members because they have not yet been confirmed,” Khieu Kanharith said. “The appointments were offered as incentives and were based on previous job experience.”


“I joined the cpp as it offered more opportunities to help the nation.”


On Tuesday, the SRP and the Human Rights Party (HRP) announced they will collectively file a complaint against the results of the recent election, which they claim was marred by widespread ballot fraud.

“We are going to file a complaint to the United Nations and the European Union because these poll results which were proclaimed by the National Election Committee are not acceptable,” Rainsy said.

Rainsy claimed if the polls had been free and fair the Cambodian People’s Party would have won 75 seats rather than 90, and said his own SRP would have grabbed 36 seats not 26.

Secretary general of the HRP, Uo Chanrath confirmed his party supported the complaint to the UN.

Khieu Kanharith ridiculed the complaint, saying “now only two parties are rejecting the results,” alluding to the fact that former SRP-partners Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party have u-turned and now say they support the election results.

August 14, 2008 at 3:01 am Leave a comment

Political deadlock feared after election results

Radio Australia – August 12, 2008

On Saturday Cambodia released interim election results and, just as expected, it was a thumping win to Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party.

Despite the clear victory there are fears of a political deadlock emerging. Opposition parties are threatening to boycott next month’s opening of the National Assembly. But the CPP, which won 58 per cent of the vote, has warned the opposition parties to show up or risk being stripped of their seats.

Presenter: Chhieng Yuth
Speakers: Cheam Yeap, Cambodian People’s Party spokesman; Son Chhay, Sam Rainsy Party MP; Ok Serei Sopheak , independent political analyst

August 13, 2008 at 4:07 am Leave a comment

Cambodian royalist parties recognize poll results

The Associated Press – August 12, 2008

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: Cambodian royalist parties announced Tuesday they would recognize the results of last month’s national election, in which they were soundly defeated by their arch opponent, Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The parties had earlier joined the main opposition group, the Sam Rainsy Party, in rejecting the poll’s results as illegitimate.

The self-named party of exiled Prince Norodom Ranariddh – who is in exile – had with Sam Rainsy’s group condemned the July 27 election as rigged in favor of Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

But in a statement Tuesday, Prince Ranariddh distanced himself from his opposition ally and said the election was held in a “transparent, free, fair and democratic manner.” He said he recognized the preliminary results announced by the National Election Committee last week.

The Funcinpec party that Ranariddh once led also said in a separate statement that it accepts the results despite some voting irregularities.

Analysts said they suspected that Ranariddh’s about-face could be part of a deal with the ruling party to help pave the way for the prince to return to Cambodia.

This is only a strategy to allow Ranariddh to return to the country,” said Hang Puthea, director of the election monitoring group Nicfec.

Ranariddh, now staying in Malaysia, is facing an 18-month prison sentence after Cambodia’s Supreme Court late last month upheld a lower court’s conviction against him in an embezzlement lawsuit filed by his former Funcinpec colleagues.

Cambodian judicial system is known for being corrupt and susceptible to political pressure from the government.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith welcomed Ranariddh’s new stance but denied any deal with the prince.

The election organizers said Hun Sen’s ruling party received some 58 percent of the more than 6 million votes cast, confirming its projected landslide victory.

It said the runner-up Sam Rainsy Party trailed with about 22 percent, followed by the Human Rights Party with 6.6 percent, Ranariddh’s party with 5.6 percent and Funcinpec with 5 percent.

It did not yet give the allocation of seats in the 123-seat National Assembly, but Hun Sen’s party has said it will get 90 seats.

The Sam Rainsy Party, which has been projected to get 26 seats, continued to reject the results due to “massive fraud.”

August 13, 2008 at 3:55 am Leave a comment

Cambodia’s ruling party win confirmed

August 09, 2008

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia’s ruling party took nearly 60 percent of the popular vote in last month’s election, according to figures released by the election committee on Saturday.

The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won 58.1 percent of the vote, compared with 21.9 percent for its nearest rival, the main opposition Sam Rainsy party, authorities said.

National Election Committee official Sin Chum Bo said turnout was 75.21 percent — or six million of the 8.1 million eligible voters.

But she declined to say how many parliamentary seats each party had won ahead of a further announcement next month in which full official results will be revealed.

“This is just a temporary election result… while we allow for political parties to make complaints before we can divide the number of seats,” she told reporters.

The CPP earlier claimed it had captured at least 90 of the 123 seats in parliament, with opposition leader Sam Rainsy and three other small parties dividing the rest.

The Sam Rainsy party on Saturday rejected the outcome, saying the election had not been conducted freely and fairly, and demanding a re-run.

International monitors agreed the election was flawed, despite improvements in the electoral process compared to past polls here.

August 10, 2008 at 7:28 am Leave a comment

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