Ten days after the polls closed, the National Election Committee on Wednesday completed preliminary results and the winner, as expected, was the CPP.
In the first Cambodian-organized election in decades, Second Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP cashed in with 64 seats, an absolute majority in the 122-seat National Assembly, based on 41.4 percent of the popular vote.
Funcinpec netted 43 seats (31.7 percent) and the Sam Rainsy Party 15 seats (14.3 percent), according to preliminary totals for the 23 constituencies.
The remaining 36 parties got more than 12 percent of the vote, but no seats under a formula revised in late May.
Under the original formula, the CPP would have won 59 seats, not enough for a majority. Funcinpec would have received 44 and Sam Rainsy 18 and one for the Khmer Democratic Party, according to political analysts.
If the formula used in the 1993 elections had been retained, the CPP would have won 56 seats, Funcinpec 40, Sam Rainsy 24, the Khmer Democratic Party one and the Cambodian National Sustaining Party one, the Sam Rainsy Party said. The latter two also finished fourth and fifth in the popular vote in the July 26 balloting.
Tol Lah, Funcinpec’s secretary-general, said the party wouldn’t accept the results until investigations of various allegations are complete. If the investigations such as the recounting are done properly, he said there will be dramatic differences in the outcome.
A Sam Rainsy Party aide, too, said the party still has serious concerns about cheating at the polls, ballot miscounting and the revised seat-allocation formula: “A number of seats could be determined by a few hundred votes.”
The party also claimed Wednesday that it had obtained evidence that 45,000 blank ballots had disappeared in Kandal and Battambang provinces, according to Kyodo News Service.
Meanwhile, Svay Sitha, CPP spokesman, said his party was pleased with the result, adding that the plan was to get at least an absolute majority in parliament.
The CPP earlier had projected it would win 65 seats, but narrowly lost an additional seat it had expected to get in Siem Reap province, Svay Sitha said.
Svay Sitha stressed the future. “We now must focus on what Cambodia should do in sake of developing the country,” he said. “We should look at the UN seat, Asean, the upcoming [international] donors’ meeting in November….And we know to restore and develop this economy we have to strengthen the rule of law.”
About 4.9 million Cambodians voted out of the nearly 5.4 million registered, according to NEC figures. Final results are expected Aug 18 or 19.
(Additional reporting by Rachel Watson)