Parties Claim Luck of the Draw on Ballot Papers

As Cambodia’s political parties on Thursday drew lots to decide in which order their names will ap­pear on national election ballots, the two main parties were convinced they had drawn the lucky number.

Representatives of the eight parties registered to run in the July 28 vote turned up at the National Election Committee’s (NEC) headquarters—which are situated within the Interior Ministry’s compound—for the lucky draw.

Two senior monks from Wat Ounalom and Wat Botum randomly selected eight envelopes, each one containing a piece of paper bearing each party’s logo, from a metal bowl.

Little-known Cambodian Nationality Party was awarded the No. 1 spot, meaning that the party’s logo—two overlapping circles—will top the ballot papers.

The ruling CPP got the fourth spot and the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) drew the seventh, or second from bottom.

Funcinpec is at two the Republican Democracy Party is at three and the Khmer Economic Development Party and the Khmer Anti-Poverty Party follow in fifth and sixth places, respectively. The eighth and final spot will be filled with the logo of the League for Democracy Party—a ringing bell within a circle.

“Seven is a lucky number,” CNRP spokesman Yem Ponharith said after the draw.

“The number seven is like 007, the spy, James Bond. 007 is good in the movies…. I strongly support this number and I believe that the voters will vote for our party,” he said.

CPP lawmaker and National Assembly spokesman Cheang Vun was equally happy about his party’s position at No. 4.

“Four is good for our party. In the last election in 2008, we got 90 seats out of 123 when we stood at No. 4. This time we will get at least 90 seats,” he said. “Four is a good number, like the four faces of the Bayon temple.”

Heu Rong, director of the NEC’s department of operations, who announced the draw, said that next week a printing house in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district would begin printing the 12,325,650 ballots needed for the election.

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