Funcinpec Touted as a Chance for Seats in Cambodian Election

Can the royalists end Cambodia’s status as a one-party-state?

Cambodians go to the polls on July 23 for an election that only Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) can win. But one outstanding question remains: Can the royalist Funcinpec party win any seats and end the country’s status as a one-party-state?

It’s a tricky question in a country where opinion polls are not allowed. Of the available forecasts CPP insiders have said they expect to win 92 percent of the 125 seats to be contested – and that was in February before the key opposition party was disqualified from contesting the poll.

The Candlelight Party (CLP) picked up more than 22 percent of the popular vote at last year’s commune elections and seemed assured of winning some seats at this general election, until it was ruled out by the National Election Committee for lodging incorrect registration papers.

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