Rainsy Claims NEC Under CPP Pressure

Opposition figure Sam Rainsy blamed the National Election Committee’s decision to delay the release of preliminary results Monday night on pressure from the CPP.

He claimed the pressure was the result of early unofficial figures that showed deposed first prime minister Prince Norodom Ra­nariddh ahead in Phnom Penh.

“They have counted the whole day already and they don’t want to release any figures,” Sam Rainsy said. “In Phnom Penh, the [districts are] finished. You can at least release these so people have some idea.”

According to figures from the Sam Rainsy Party, Funcinpec took 36.7 percent of Phnom Penh, CPP 32.7 percent and the Sam Rainsy Party 30.6 percent. About 90 percent of the votes in the city were counted, the statement from the Sam Rainsy Party said.

“I’m sure that [over night] the figure will improve for the CPP,” Sam Rainsy said. He said the NEC delayed the press conference and the release of the figures so the CPP could manipulate the ballots in such a way that the figures for their party in­crease.

NEC officials could not be reached for comment.

Early national counts released by Sam Rainsy Party observers put Funcinpec in the lead, CPP a close second, and his party a distant third.

The possibility of a Funcinpec victory, Sam Rainsy said, would be a “total loss of face” for Se­cond Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Sam Rainsy Monday night painted a scenario in which a Fun­cinpec victory—and a CPP coalition—would be embarrassing for Hun Sen. The latter’s resignation as a party leader could mean a split or even a disintegration of the CPP, Sam Rainsy said.

“They are afraid of this scenario. They have to [change] the figure from 40 to 60 percent. They will give the smaller parties 6 or 7 percent so they have a two-thirds majority. This is the game tonight,” he said.


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