siem reap town – Spotty radio communication and bad roads slowed early election results coming to Siem Reap vote counters, with most of the communes reportedly going to the CPP.
Officials from Funcinpec, the CPP and the provincial election commission agreed on the results in three of 14 districts being contested—Puok district to the west and Banteay Srei district to the north went to the CPP; Bakheng to the east voted Funcinpec.
Funcinpec had tallied 32 communes by 8 pm, with 21 going CPP and the rest to Funcinpec. CPP radio reported victories throughout the country, especially in communes in the two districts west of Siem Reap, Kralanh and Srey Snam, and in Sotr Nikom district, east of the provincial capital.
Committee for Free and Fair Elections (Comfrel) had completed a tally in only 11 of 114 total communes by 8 pm, with eight going to the CPP, two to Funcinpec and one to the Sam Rainsy Party. Communes with near-complete counts appeared to be heavily favoring the ruling CPP.
A Comfrel observer in Banteay Srei district filed a report disputing a favorable CPP count in one commune, although it is unclear how this will affect the final tally.
A Comfrel official expressed concern for people in communes that voted against the CPP, saying, “I think the CPP will take action against that commune.”
Funcinpec reported that Siem Reap and Angkor Thom districts have voted heavily in favor of the CPP, prompting disappointment from the No 1 royalist candidate, Princess Norodom Vacheara.
“This time its going to be very, very tough,” the princess conceded, noting that four of the province’s six seats went to opposition parties in 1993. “If we get two seats, I would be very happy.”
The princess expressed hope that the “strongly royalist” Chikreng district in the east would vote Funcinpec.
Soun Loun, provincial chief for the CPP, said he wanted to reserve comment until more results were known, but said that the CPP had come out strong.
“I think so far it is going well,” he said Monday afternoon.