Party Snuffed by Formula, Pledges Complaint

A legal adviser to Second Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to file a complaint to the Na­tional Election Committee, saying an apparently revised formula for allocation of National Assembly seats is illegal and discriminates against small parties.

The issue at hand for Khmer Democratic Party president Uk Phou­rik is that the displaced formula would have given one of 122 Assembly seats to his party.

“I want to be a parliamentarian, to debate and adopt the law, to help the country,” he said in a Thursday interview.

The Khmer Democratic Party got 89,999 votes nationwide and came in fourth in overall voting.

Uk Phourik said his party should receive one of 18 seats based in the most populous province of Kompong Cham. But under a little-known seat allocation formula, which the NEC says it adopted for use in late May, his party does not win a seat.

Uk Phourik claimed the seat allocation formula was secretly implemented without the parties’ knowledge of the revision.

Under the formula included in the May 6 draft of the election rules and regulations, the CPP would have won 59 seats. Using a formula carried in the May 29 final draft, the CPP wins 64 seats, enough to garner a majority in the law-making body.

According to the NEC’s preliminary vote count, the Khmer De­mocratic Party outdistanced the fifth place finisher by about 18,000 votes and fell short of the third-place Sam Rainsy Party by about 610,000 votes.

The party fielded candidates in the 1993 UN-sponsored elections but was unsuccessful.

It split in Ja­nuary into a faction led by former prime minister In Tam and one led by Uk Phourik, who then aligned with the CPP and registered the party with the Interior Ministry.

For this campaign, the party spent around $70,000, Uk Phourik said.

But a vigorous pavement-pounding, hand-shaking strategy set his party apart from the hordes of other small parties.

“My strategy was different from others. I had talked and shaken hands with the people personally,” the party president said. “By doing this, people loved us. It is a way of marketing [the party].”

Asked what he will do now that his party is seatless, Uk Phou­rik said slowly that he hopes that he will be offered a job as a government adviser.

He did not want to talk about whether he would continue working for his party.

 

 

 

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