Monday, September 9, 2013

Cambodia’s ruling party confirmed election winner

Source: BBC Online
Cambodia’s ruling People’s Party (CPP) has been confirmed the winner of July’s general election which was marred by fraud allegations.

The election commission said Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP won 68 seats, compared to 55 for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

The televised announcement comes after thousands took part in a rally in the capital Phnom Penh to protest against alleged electoral fraud.

Hun Sen has run Cambodia for 28 years.

The 61-year-old has vowed to stay in power until he is in his seventies.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy claimed there was widespread rigging in the election.
The result confirmation means he will no longer be able to legally contest the vote.

According to preliminary official figures, the CPP won 3.2 million votes, while Rainsy’s party obtained 2.9 million.

The election commission is yet to officially confirm these numbers.

On Saturday, huge crowds gathered in Phnom Penh’s Democracy Park in what organisers described as a peaceful protest based on Buddhist prayer.

Many demonstrators brought lotus flowers symbolising peace.

Rainsy told the crowd it was a “historic day”, saying that “those who steal our votes won’t live happily”.
With all the institutions of state, including the election commission, under the thumb of Hun Sen, this type of protest is the only way for opposition supporters to challenge the result, says the BBC’s Southeast Asia correspondent Jonathan Head.

He adds that the CNRP has vowed to keep up its street protests against the result.

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