In the wake of the CPP’s dominance of Sunday’s election, the four other parties that have apparently secured National Assembly seats came together Monday to reject the results of the poll, which they claim was “rigged” by the ruling party.
According to preliminary results released by the National Election Committee the CPP handily defeated all comers in every province and municipality. The NEC has not yet released a preliminary seat count, but Information Minister and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith gave a revised tally Tuesday that has the CPP taking 90 of the Assembly’s 123 seats. According to Khieu Kanharith, the SRP came in a distant second with 26 seats, followed by the Human Rights Party with three and the Norodom Ranariddh Party and Funcinpec bringing up the rear with two apiece.
But during a short joint appearance at SRP headquarters Monday afternoon, SRP President Sam Rainsy, HRP President Kem Sokha, Funcinpec Second Deputy President Prince Sisowath Sirirath and NRP Cabinet Director Muth Channtha announced that their parties are collectively rejecting the election results.
“We are appealing for the international community to not recognize the election results because there are many irregularities, especially voters that could not vote and [fraudulent] expansion of voting lists,” Kem Sokha told reporters.
Comments were brief as the quartet quickly left to file their grievances with the European Union mission monitoring Sunday’s poll and with the UN Development Program office.
According to allegations in a joint statement released by the four parties, the “main illegal and fraudulent practices are related to the deletion of countless legitimate voters’ names and artificial increase in the CPP votes associated with 1018 forms issued by CPP-controlled authorities to illegitimate voters to cast their ballots for the CPP.” Form 1018 is official documentation that voters lacking proper ID can submit to be able to vote.
The statement went on to ask the public to “condemn the tricks and maneuvers” of the NEC, which the parties characterize as a “tool for the CPP to organize a sham election.”
Kem Sokha said that the joint statement was not an announcement that the parties had decided to form an opposition alliance, but he added that such a possibility was being discussed.
“We hope that the four parties will form an alliance because we have the same goals, ” he said. “We will continue to discuss.”
SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann said by telephone Monday evening that as many as 100,000 voter names had been wrongly deleted from the voter rolls. He also said that no plans for an opposition alliance have yet been laid.
“Now it is important to have a joint stand to protest against the election result,” he said.
Khieu Kanharith said that the CPP had no intention of responding to the four parties’ claims.
“It is the National Election Committee’s role,” he said, but added that the complaint was probably made to soothe party members disappointed by the election results.
NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha said that the election body also would not address the parties’ statement because it did not constitute an official complaint.
He added that such grievances are the “habit” of political parties following elections.
Khieu Kanharith said that the CPP was still open to the possibility of forming a coalition government, but warned that any parties that ally themselves with the SRP will not be able to join with the ruling party.
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said Monday that even though his party has yet to decide whether it will take on a coalition partner, Prime Minister Hun Sen has expressed a desire for the ruling party to go it alone in the fourth mandate. Even Funcinpec, which the CPP had said they would work with once again, will likely be left out of government, he said.
“Samdech Hun Sen has this idea because [Funcinpec] have attacked us. We want to achieve on our own, ” he said. “Funcinpec was not loyal too us.”
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