Majority of councillors vote in local polls

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
NEC officials
NEC officials count ballots cast in yesterday’s local elections. KT/Khem Sovannara

The National Election Committee last night announced that 99.94 percent of councillors voted in the municipal, provincial and district elections yesterday.

NEC vice president Nuth Sokhom said 99.94 percent amounted to 11,565 out of 11,572 councillors.

“Seven councillors did not vote, including a Krek commune councillor who died in a traffic accident,” Mr Sokhom said, noting that the commune councillor from Tboung Khmum province died on his way to vote. “Six were absent without reason.”

He said the voting process was smooth and there were no issues.

“The elections were carried out with peace and order without violence or threats,” Mr Sokhom said.

He added that official results are to be announced on June 8.

Ouk Kim Han, deputy cabinet chief for the CPP, said his party received the majority of votes, according to preliminary results.

“The CPP won the majority of seats in the elections,” Mr Kim Han said, noting that he does not know how many seats the CPP will receive.

There were 559 municipal and provincial council seats up for grabs in Phnom Penh and the 24 provinces, along with 3,555 council seats in the rest of the Kingdom’s districts and cities.

Mr Kim Han said that aside from the CPP, other parties, including Funcinpec and the Khmer National United Party, also won seats.

KNUP spokesman Run Meatra said his party won some seats in Phnom Penh and some provinces, but he did not yet know how many.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea yesterday said he went to review a polling station in Preah Yukunthor High School in Phnom Penh.

“Generally, the situation around the country was good,” Mr Puthea said.

He said that aside from the CPP, Funcinpec and the KNUP, four other parties participated in the elections. These other four parties were the Khmer Republican Party, Cambodian Youth Party, Khmer Will Party and Khmer Nationality Party.

“Cambodia is a country that respects democracy,” Mr Puthea said. “We do it based on the law.”

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of election watchdog Nicfec, said council elections are unnecessary.

Voters line up to cast ballots in yesterday’s local elections. KT/Khem Sovannara

“In my opinion, the municipal, provincial and district councillor elections should not be organised,” Mr Kuntheamy said. “Councillors should just be appointed because all the parties already know that their councillors will cast votes for them and they already know the results.”

Only commune councillors are eligible to cast votes in the non-public elections.

Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng yesterday said the elections in Phnom Penh were safe due to support from government officials.

“Through the Interior Ministry, security and protection were strengthened for those who voted,” Mr Sreng said. “Security today was good.”

He noted that 899 voters went to 14 polling stations in the capital.

“These elections showed Cambodia’s democracy,” Mr Sreng said.

Heng Vanda, chairman of the Higher Education Association, said there was no violence during yesterday’s elections.

“I think this year has been better than the national election in the past,” he said. “I support these elections.”

Siem Sok Heng, an observer from The Pagoda Children Intelligent and Student Association, said the NEC did a good job in organising the elections.

“Based on my observations, I think the elections were good because the process was smooth,” Mr Sok Heng said.

Loek Yan, a commune councillor from Tuol Svay Prey II commune in Phnom Penh’s Boeng Keng Kang district, said the elections will help develop the country.

“I was happy to vote in the municipal, provincial and district council elections,” Mr Yan said.

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