NEC Releases Presumptive Final Vote Results

The National Election Committee on Saturday released vote tallies that it considers to be their final ballot count for the July 27 national election, barring any complaints from political parties.

The results are not markedly different from the preliminary totals the NEC released the day after the July 27 poll, and the number of seats each party appears to have won has not been affected by the new figures.

“The CPP is the winning party. The CPP is the leading party among political parties,” NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha said by telephone Sunday. He added that parties now have until 8 am Tuesday to file formal complaints with the NEC or the Constitutional Council. If no such complaints are made, the figures released Saturday will be considered the official results of the election.

As of Sunday afternoon, no complaints had been received, Tep Nytha said.

According to these “temporary” results, of the 6,010,277 votes cast in the election, the CPP came away with 3,492,374, or just over 58 percent. The NEC did not release the projected number of National Assembly seats each party has won, but the new vote totals still calculate to 90 seats for the CPP.

The Sam Rainsy Party came in a distant second with 1,316,714 votes (21.9 percent), which should translate to 26 seats. The Human Rights Party ran third with 397,816 votes (6.6 percent), which should net them 3 seats. And as before, the Norodom Ranariddh Party and Funcinpec are projected to win 2 seats a piece, with each party failing to collect even 350,000 votes.

In response to the announcement of the election results, CPP President Chea Sim released a statement Saturday saying that the ruling party recognized the NEC’s figures.

“The CPP would like to announce that it has accepted the election results of the National Election Committee announced on August 9, which is the result of the will of the people,” Chea Sim wrote.

The CPP and Senate president went on to urge the four other parties who have apparently won seats to accept the results and not “complicate” the opening session of the new Assembly. The SRP, HRP and NRP have said that they will boycott that first session unless alleged voting irregularities are addressed and opposition parties are allowed to chair some Assembly commissions.

“I would like to appeal to all parties that have seats at the Assembly to honestly participate in order to ensure that the fourth National Assembly can start to work smoothly according to the Constitution and the people’s will,” Chea Sim wrote. “Any attempt to complicate the political situation is an action against the will of the people and in contradiction to democratic principles.” According to the Constitution, the Assembly must consist of at least 120 members, and the opposition claims that by boycotting the swearing-in ceremony it would mean that there would not be enough lawmakers to convene the legislative body. They are hoping that they can exploit that 120-member rule to have their grievances addressed and to force concessions from the ruling party. The CPP for its part has threatened to have the opposition’s seats redistributed among other parties if they fail to have their lawmakers sworn in.

Senior officials for each of the three opposition parties said by telephone Sunday that their parties are united in opposition to these latest election results and still plan to go forward with the boycott.

“I do not recognize the unofficial result of the NEC; this is an empty result,” SRP President Sam Rainsy said by telephone Sunday.

He went on to warn the CPP against attempting to strip the SRP of its seats, saying that it could lead to instability. He said that if the SRP did not have positions of power within the National Assembly it would mean that the poor and the landless would lose their advocate within the legislature.

“If [land grabbing] victims do not have channels to make complaints, they will take their axes and weapons to the jungle,” Sam Rainsy said, claiming that his party has done much to calm such individuals by assisting them through the Assembly.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said Sunday that the next Assembly is set to convene on Sept 24, and regardless of the oppositions complaints, all commissions will be chaired by CPP legislators.

“We will not give away any of those positions,” he said, adding that when the SRP received two commission chairs in the third mandate they used them as platforms to attack the ruling party.

“Political parties continue to attack the CPP,” Cheam Yeap said. “They can attack us, and we will do it alone. We will be responsible for the law and the international community.”

He added that just because the CPP would chair all the commissions doesn’t mean that other parties would be shut out entirely, as they would still hold seats on those commissions.

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