The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) issued Tuesday night its own results from Sunday’s national election, claiming a razor thin victory over Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling CPP and calling on the country’s long-time leader to stand down.
CNRP president Sam Rainsy claimed that his party won at least 63 of the Assembly’s 123 seats, eight more parliamentary positions than the CPP said the opposition had won, according to their preliminary results, which they issued on Sunday evening.
“At least 63 seats, at least,” Mr. Rainsy said last night. “The CPP is the remaining.”
On Sunday, the CPP said it had won 68 seats and the opposition had won 55 seats in unofficial results. The new CNRP results would mean the CPP won just 60 seats on Sunday, three less than the opposition.
Official election results will not be released by the National Election Committee (NEC) until mid-August.
Mr. Rainsy said his party came up with the new figures using calculations based on the NEC’s 1104 forms, which tally the votes out of each polling station and are handed out to each political party in the race.
“We received them [the NEC forms] from our network all over the country,” Mr. Rainsy said. “Now we are certain we have the majority. This number can only go up,” he said.
Mr. Rainsy also said that Mr. Hun Sen had, in his pre-election pledge, agreed to hand over power peacefully if his party lost the poll.
“For the sake of Cambodia he should do it,” Mr. Rainsy said.
The opposition leader also denied a media report, which claimed that he had called for nationwide protests if the CPP refuses to accept the CNRP victory.
“We don’t consider calling any protests while we wait for the investigating committee to do its work…possibly a last resort, but not at this stage,” he said.
Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan responded to the CNRP results saying that he stood by the figures the CPP released Sunday giving the ruling party a fifth mandate to govern the country.
But Mr. Siphan pointed out that they were temporary results until the NEC’s official declaration.
“I put my faith, belief in the NEC,” he said. “I support the NEC number because it is official.”
The CNRP on Monday called for the establishment of an independent committee to investigate election-day irregularities.
Mr. Rainsy said his party’s new voter tally made the work of such a committee all the more urgent.
“The investigating committee will say who is wrong and who is right, that is why we call for this committee to be formed as soon as possible…to prevent any stalemate,” he said.
Mr. Siphan also stood by the CPP’s refusal to partake in such a committee, saying that such a body had no authority over the NEC or the Constitutional Council.
“That’s why we [do] not dare to get involved in that,” Mr. Siphan said.
The opposition says that an independent committee is necessary as the NEC and Constitutional Council are both stacked with supporters of the CPP.