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NEC: CPP expected to win polls

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Citizens line up to vote in the Council Elections in the 3rd Mandate at the Yukunthor High School in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang II commune in the capital on Sunday. Heng Chivoan

NEC: CPP expected to win polls

The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) received a landslide victory in elections to elect capital, provincial, town and district councillors on Sunday, National Election Commission (NEC) secretary-general Tep Nytha said.

Nytha told The Post on Sunday that though the NEC’s preliminary results were not yet complete, they had a good idea of who had won each seat.

“We know that generally most of the voters are from the CPP, so the most votes will go to the CPP. But I do not know how many yet, we are still counting,” he said.

The NEC also announced that the election process and vote counting for the third mandate council elections had gone smoothly with no reports of disruptions, violence or threats, while security was well maintained.

NEC deputy president Nuth Sokhom said in a press conference on Sunday that 203 polling stations opened at 7am throughout the country, with some closing early after all participants had voted.

“Out of the voters, seven were absent, one of whom one was killed in a traffic accident, while the other six were absent without reason. A large number of polling stations closed early as all the voters had voted,” Sokhom said.

As of 10:30am, 196 of the 203 polling stations had closed and more than 50 per cent had ended counting, the NEC said.

Siem Sokheng, 26 – an observer from the Pagoda Boys Association that deployed observers in the 14 polling stations in Phnom Penh – said that the election had gone smoothly and most voters had arrived before 7am.

“The NEC’s election process was good and the voters actively participated in the elections,” he said.

Seven parties participated in the polls – the CPP, Funcinpec, the Khmer National United Party, Khmer Republican Party, Cambodian Youth Party, Khmer Will Party and Cambodian Nationality Party. There were 21,692 candidates from the seven parties and 11,572 voters throughout the country.

A total of 559 municipal and provincial councillor seats were contested, while 3,555 town and district council seats were up for grabs.

The NEC is to announce the election’s preliminary results on Friday, while the official results will be announced on June 8.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the party’s landslide win at polling stations nationwide was because the electorate was largely made up of those who voted for the CPP. The party’s council members would continue to be the leaders in the new mandate, he added.

“It is true that it is not difficult for us to calculate the results of the elections. It does not need the NEC to announce the results. Four or five other parties joined the polls who have voters, but they are very small in number,” he said.

Sam Rainsy, “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), posted on Facebook that he considered the polls a “fake election” in a one-party system.

“This council election, which elects council members at capital, provincial, town and district levels, is the third fake election after the Hun Sen administration dissolved the CNRP unilaterally on November 16, 2017,” he wrote.

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