Villagers from Kompong Speu province protested for a second day in front of the Phnom Penh headquarters of ANZ Royal Bank on Wednesday, smearing the building’s exterior with red-painted handprints after the lender once again refused to help them resolve their land dispute with a sugar plantation it helped finance.
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith announced on his Facebook page at 7:40 p.m. Sunday that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has won the national election, but with a severely reduced majority.
According to unofficial results in a post on Mr. Kanharith’s Facebook page, the CPP won the election with 68 seats to 55 seats for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
The figure was also confirmed this evening by Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers. However, Mr. Siphan said that the results were unofficial.
“That’s what I heard. That’s correct,” Mr. Siphan said referring to Mr. Kanharith’s figures.
“It’s unofficial,” he added.
If confirmed, the results would mark a significant reduction of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP representation within the National Assembly.
In 2008, the CPP won 90 seats, while the Sam Rainsy Party and Human Rights Party, which merged in July to form the CNRP, won 26 and 3 seats respectively.
However, the CPP would still be able to form a government without any coalition partner, as the Constitution requires only a simple majority of 50 percent plus one seat in the 123-seat National Assembly to form a new government.
If the results stand, the royalist Funcinpec party, which won the country’s first national elections in 1993, would have no representation in Parliament.
Kem Sokha, the vice president of the CNRP, said after voting in Kompong Cham province on Sunday that the opposition party would accept nothing less than a victory in the election.
At a press conference Sunday evening, CNRP president Sam Rainsy called the election a “victory of the whole country with this advance of democracy” and asked that supporters stay calm and wait for official election results to be announced by the National Election Committee (NEC).
NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha declined to confirm or deny the information minister’s results.
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