The first day of campaigning for Senate elections began on Saturday, with only the ruling CPP having a large march in Takeo province, according to the National Election Committee.
The NEC said the march was attended by more than 1,000 people, about 300 cars and about 50 motorbikes. Campaigning across the country was carried out quietly and no violence was reported, the committee added.
The second day of campaigning yesterday saw the ruling party hold a large event in Svay Rieng province, with more than 550 participants marching.
The NEC praised all four political parties standing in the Senate elections for their cooperation and respect of relevant laws.
“Other political parties campaigned by holding meetings, distributing leaflets, training voters on ballot usage, and especially by broadcasting their political message at party headquarters in the capital, provinces and districts of each region,” the NEC said.
It said the CPP launched its campaign in four regions while the royalist Funcinpec party began broadcasting political messages through loudspeakers at some party headquarters.
The Khmer National United Party and Cambodia Youth Party did not start campaigning, the NEC added.
CYP president Pich Sros said there would be a mass gathering of party members and supporters tomorrow, with 1,500 participants expected at party headquarters in Tbong Khmum province’s Suong town.
He said the CYP would only campaign two more times, on Saturday and February 20.
“We won’t campaign very much because our party has a shortage of money and there aren’t so many participants,” he said.
Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of election watchdog NICFEC, said there were not many gatherings on the first day of the election campaign
He added that in Phnom Penh, there were no marches as there have been previously for both national and commune elections.
“We only saw the CPP gathering on the first day of the campaign,” he said.
“The Senate election campaign won’t have any big marches because the only people voting are members of the National Assembly and members of the commune councils, so it is not related to the masses,” he said.
The Senate election is a non-universal election voted by on all members of parliament and commune councillors holding their current position under the framework of each region.
There are 58 seats in the Senate election which are divided into eight regions.