The Cambodian Youth Party yesterday kicked off its campaign for the Senate elections.
CYP president Pich Sros told Khmer Times that about 2,000 people took part in the event in Tbong Khmum province, where the party has many supporters.
“I was surprised because more people joined than we expected. Last year when I held forums or meetings there were fewer people, but now there are more, so that’s a positive for my party,” Mr Sros said.
CYP has three commune councillor positions in Tbong Khmum province, since the National Election Committee redistributed the seats of the opposition CNRP, which was dissolved by the court in November.
Mr Sros admitted that the three would not have enough sway to elect a CYP candidate to the Senate.
“My party cannot win a seat at the Senate, but we have discussed who our members should vote for,” Mr Sros said.
He added that the party would continue to promote its policies at party headquarters in the province until February 23.
The NEC said the Khmer National United Party was the only one of four parties not to kick off its Senate election campaign yet.
The ruling CPP held marches on the first day of campaigning, while Funcinpec is broadcasting political messages from their party’s district and provincial offices.
KNUP president Soeng Kiri said his party had no big activities planned, but was meeting with members in villages who were eligible to vote in the polls.
“We are gradually meeting with our members in villages and will continue to do so until the end of the election campaign. We will not march,” he said.
The Senate election is a non-universal election voted by on all members of parliament and commune councillors.
Sam Kuntheamy, executive director for NICFEC, said the non-universal nature of the vote meant fewer people were interested in the election than for national or local polls.
Campaigning for the fourth mandate of the Senate election started on February 10 and will end on February 25.
There are 62 Senate seats to be filled, 58 elected by commune councillors, two appointed by the King and two by the National Assembly.
Of the nearly 12,000 commune councillors who can vote, more than 5,000 former opposition CNRP commune seats were recently reallocated by the NEC and the majority – 4,558 – went to the ruling CPP.