Cambodia Gives Royal 2nd-Best Showing in Asean

Support in Cambodia for Sego­lene Royal, the defeated Socialist candidate in Sunday’s French pre­sidential elections, was the second-highest of any Asean nation, according to official tallies in Phnom Penh.

Of 757 votes cast by 6 pm at the French Embassy, 27 were spoil­ed, while 355, or 48.63 percent, went to Royal, according to figures released Sunday evening by the French embassy.

As in the first round, support for Royal was again marginally stronger in Cambodia than in Fran­ce, where the 53-year-old mother of four received just under 47 percent of the vote, according to results re­leased Sun­day evening by the French In­terior Ministry.

However, of all 10 Asean na­tions, only in Laos, where Royal took 57.9 percent of the French expatriate vote, did she earn a higher score than in Cambodia, according to the French Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Her support was considerably weaker in Vietnam (41.1 percent) and Thailand (32.1 percent), though she suffered her heaviest defeats in the Philippines (27.5 percent) and Singapore (24.6 percent).

SRP lawmaker Tioulong Sau­mu­ra, a long-time supporter of France’s Green party, said the results reflected the composition of the French expatriate communities in both Cambodia and Laos.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” she said, adding that she had voted by proxy in Paris’s 15th arrondissement for the conservative Nicolas Sarkozy in both rounds of the election.

“I think that the French communities in Cambodia and above all in Laos are largely composed of people working for NGOs,” she said.

In the overall expatriate vote, support for Royal (46 percent) was close to that in France, but Royal achieved many of her best results in African countries such as Guinea-Bissau (73 percent), Benin (69 percent), and her birthplace, Senegal (54.8 percent).



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