Hun Sen Open to Investigation of Election Results

In his first public appearance since Sunday’s national election, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday that he is open to holding talks with opposition leader Sam Rainsy and an investigation into alleged irregularities at the polls.

Speaking to reporters on a tour of an overpass construction site at Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey commune, in Meanchey district, Mr. Hun Sen said that any investigation into the election results would be carried out by the National Election Committee, political parties and election monitors.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, center, makes his first public appearance Wednesday after Sunday's national election. He visited a construction site in Phnom Penh's Meanchey district, just hundreds meters from the place where election erupted on election day. (Thomas Cristofoletti)
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, center, makes his first public appearance Wednesday after Sunday’s national election. He visited a construction site in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, just hundreds of meters from the place where violence erupted on election day. (Thomas Cristofoletti)

“The election has finished and people have used their rights,” he said. “I have unofficial news that the National Election Committee will solve the problem in which there will be a joint political contribution alongside NGOs.”

“This is a positive way to open the door to solve the problem in compliance with the law,” he added.

Mr. Hun Sen also said he was open to holding talks with Mr. Rainsy once he had finished mourning his father, Hun Neang, who passed away earlier this month. Mr. Hun Sen did not indicate how long that mourning would continue.

In the meantime, he said, Mr. Rainsy could talk to Interior Minister Sar Kheng, acting Senate President Say Chhum and Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.

“If the situation becomes crucial, I can spare some time to speak” to Mr. Rainsy, he added.

Mr. Hun Sen’s ruling CPP announced immediately that it had won a majority in the election, although taking an unprecedented loss of 22 National Assembly seats to the CNRP’s gain.

Mr. Rainsy has rejected the election results and demanded an independent, internationally backed investigation into what he says were massive irregularities at the polls.

Since Sunday’s vote, Mr. Hun Sen had not appeared in public and roads around his home in Phnom Penh have been frequently blocked for security reasons.

Mr. Rainsy—who returned from self-imposed exile after a Royal Pardon in July, but was not able to contest the election as a candidate—claimed Tuesday that the CNRP’s own calculations have the opposition party winning the election with a narrow majority of 63 to 60 seats.

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