Many Cambodians said Thursday they couldn’t believe the preliminary results from Sunday’s elections—which show the CPP winning—but others were happy and said the polls would bring peace.
Still more said they were too frightened to talk about the results of the polls.
“I don’t know if it’s free or fair or not,” said a fruit vendor along the banks of the Tonle Sap. She said she didn’t want to talk politics in public and declined to give her name, as did several other people.
“The election results so far are fair and good,” said Touch Sim, a 55-year-old municipal civil servant, who sat drinking cane juice by the river. “I’m glad there’s less trouble than in 1993.”
He declined to talk specifics until he heard the final results from the National Election Committee.
“The people here want democracy,” he said. “Even in the countryside.”
Keo Than Thom, 39, who owns a car-painting business, said he would not judge whether the results were good or bad as long as there is stability.
“The most important thing is for the people to have peace… especially for the business climate,” he said.
A 42-year-old clothing vendor in Phnom Penh’s Kandal Market said she didn’t trust the results. Relatives from Prey Veng told her there was intimidation at their polling station. She declined to give her name.
“Voting officials threatened them and told them to vote for 35,” she said, referring to the CPP’s number on the ballot. “They told them if they don’t vote for the CPP, they will have problems.”
But another vendor across the street disagreed. “The election was very good and very free and fair,” Yei Parang, 47, said. She didn’t have any comment on the results, but hoped her second-hand purse business would pick up soon.
Sitting under a tree across from Wat Botum, a 25-year-old technology student was studying election results.
“As for myself, I’m not too happy with the results,” he said, declining to give his name. He said he watched ballot-counting Monday in his native Kompong Cham province, and Funcinpec was ahead most of the day. But when the results came out in his district the following morning, the CPP had won.
“Many people there were asking how the CPP could have won,” he said.
© 1998 – 2013, Stew Magnuson. All rights reserved.