Elections in Cambodia See Major Parties Merge, Compete for Votes
On Sunday, July 28 Cambodians cast ballots for 123 members of the National Assembly. This race saw the merger of two major opposition parties, the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, into the Cambodia National Rescue Party. This new, larger party was led by Sam Rainsy, a self-exiled leader who recently returned to Cambodia after receiving a Royal Pardon for various convictions.
Robert Patterson, IFES Chief of Party in Cambodia, answers some questions about Election Day.
How was the mood on Election Day?
Generally, the day was peaceful and the enthusiasm generated by youth during the election campaign carried over to Election Day. However, there were a few incidents of violence. Transparency International reported, “Citizens were frustrated to find that their names were not on the voters list and this led to anger and chaos at some polling stations.”
How was turnout?
Based on preliminary figures posted on the National Election Committee’s website, estimated voter turnout was 69 percent. The governing Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) garnered 48.79 percent of votes, with the major opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) garnering 44.45 percent of votes.
Depending on the final vote count by province, it is estimated that the CPP will win 67 or 68 seats in the National Assembly of 123, and the CNRP will win 55 or 56 seats.
How was the security of voters?
There was an increased presence of police at all polling locations compared to last year’s commune council elections, but it did not interfere with voting.
When will results be announced?
The final results will be announced between August 14 and September 8, depending on the number of complaints filed and the length of time it takes to deal with them.
When will the elected take office?
According to Article 82 New of the constitution, the National Assembly will hold its first session no later than 60 days after Election Day.