No Seats Again for Smaller Political Parties

With preliminary election re­sults indicating that none of the 20 small parties will win seats, spokes­men from the small parties on Tuesday complained about the fairness of the election and began planning for the future.

Suth Dina, president of the anti-immigrant Khmer Front Party was disappointed with the election results.

“I do not accept this election,” Suth Dina said Tuesday. “It did not reflect the pluralist democracy in Cambodia.”

Though he claimed 30,000 supporters in Phnom Penh, in some city stations the party received as few as five votes. “It’s very strange,” he said.

He said the party would protest the results and hoped to receive permission to join Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy Party in their possible protests.

Funcinpec lawmaker Princess Norodom Vacheara declined to comment on whether smaller parties would be invited to join her party in protests.

In a Tuesday statement Pou Sethy, secretary of the Norodom Chakrapong Proloeung Khmer Party, said he rejected the election results “distributed by the CPP’s media.”

Proof of “abnormalities” in the process was that “our members could not vote,” he said.

Suyan Om, spokeswoman for the CPP-aligned Liberal Demo­crat­ic Party, was more sanguine. The party would not protest the vote since it “did not encounter problems during the campaign or the election,” she said.

She declined to comment on the party’s “ongoing” meetings about its future, except to say, “We want to get bigger. Any party wants to get bigger.”

Despite meager results for small parties, Chea Vannath, Center for Social De­moc­racy president, congratulated many small parties on their campaigning.

“When you listened to them, you felt their dedication,” she said Tuesday.

Furthermore, she said she be­lieved they represented a positive development for the country if they are willing to start small. “Every big party was small first,” she said.

“It will be hard for them to rise, but not impossible,” she said. “They need money, maturity and focus.”  Though she said pro­testing the elections would not win them much attention, she advised them to “gang up” with each other to create another viable party.



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