CPP, Funcinpec Together Again—on Ballot

Sambok Kmoum (Bee Hive) can usually be found at No 105 on the FM radio dial, but this July voters will find Sambok Kmoum, the political party, at No 1 on the ballot for parliamentary elections.

The political party run by Sambok Kmoum radio station manager Mom Sonando drew the first position Thursday in a lottery to decide the 39 parties’ order on the July 26 ballot.

One coincidence in the lottery drew laughter from observers: Former coalition partners-turned-bitter-rivals Funcinpec and the CPP are neighbors on the ballot: Nos 34 and 35, re­spectively.

“I think it is quite funny…it looks like these parties will be sticking together again,” said Son Chhay, a parliamentary candidate for the Sam Rainsy Party.

Tensions between Funcinpec and the CPP erupted into violence last July when troops loyal to the CPP ousted those loyal to then-first prime minister Prince Norodom Ran­ariddh.

Several Funcinpec spinoffs, born out of the many factions that split off after last year’s fighting, will be on the ballot in July, in­cluding new First Prime Min­ister Ung Huot’s party, Reastr Ni­yum (No 23), and the Sang­kum Thmei Party (No 12) of National Assembly First Vice President Loy Sim Chheang.

The Sam Rainsy Party drew No 18, prompting Son Chhay to point out that the number is the same as the minimum age requirement to vote.

“It looks like we are the new generation,” he joked.

Son Chhay is a member of parliament for the former BLDP, now the Son Sann Party (No 30 on this year’s ballot). He joined the Sam Rainsy Party last year.

The National Election Com­mittee decided to use the same lottery system used by Untac in 1993 to determine the order of parties’ names on the ballot to avoid any rumor of favoritism, NEC President Chheng Phon said Thursday. The order on the ballot means little except that those near the top are easier to pick out.

The lottery, which was postponed a day for technical reasons, was administered by two venerable Bud­dhist leaders: Tep Vong, supreme patriarch of the Mo­hanikay sect, and his counterpart in the Tham­mayut sect, Bou Kry.

Related Stories

Latest News