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CPP dominates council elections

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
A commune councillor casts a vote during Sunday’s elections. KT/Khem Sovannara

The CPP garnered most of the votes on Sunday in the municipal, provincial and district council elections, the National Election Committee said yesterday.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said the CPP earned 11,123 out of 11,565 votes cast by commune councillors.

There were 559 municipal and provincial 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.

It is not clear how many seats the CPP will win as the NEC will publish official results on June 8.

Mr Puthea said aside from the CPP, five other parties were able to garner votes.

“Funcinpec won 226 votes, Khmer National United Party won 175, Khmer Nationality Party won 14, Cambodian Youth Party won eight and the Khmer Will Party won two,” he said, adding that the Khmer Republic Party did not garner a vote.

The total votes garnered by the parties tally to 11,548, and Mr Puthea said that the missing votes may have been invalid.

“We will review this issue to see what’s wrong with them,” he said.

Mr Puthea noted that the NEC has not received complaints from any political parties.

“The process for these elections was smooth and there were no issues,” he said, adding that according to the Election Law, parties have two days to file a complaint.

The elections are non-universal as municipal, provincial and district councillors are determined by commune councillors every five years.

Voters line up to cast ballots. KT/Khom Sovannara

Political parties nominate municipal, provincial and district councillor candidates. The number of commune councillors eligible to vote fluctuates depending on the results of the commune elections, which are also held every five years but are universal.

Korn Savang, monitoring unit coordinator with the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, yesterday said the local elections should be universal.

“It is important that sub-national officials do their jobs to develop society,” he said.

Mr Savang said that civil society organisations have in the past requested the NEC to consider proposing an amendment to the Election Law to change the current municipal, provincial and district elections to a direct election system.

“It could be good because councillors are important representatives of the people,” he said.

Mr Savang also noted that some parties that could have participated in the local elections did not because they previously rejected commune councillor posts redistributed after the CNRP was dissolved in 2017.

“Only some parties received former CNRP commune councillor seats after it was dissolved,” Mr Savang said. “Everyone knew that the elections were limited based on commune councillors. When a party has the majority of commune councillors, it will receive the majority of seats.”

Nop Sothearith, spokesman for Funcinpec, said his party will likely accept the results of the election.

“We can accept and support these elections, but we will wait for the official NEC announcement on June 8,” he said.

CYP president Pich Sros said he will also wait for official results.

“I would be happy to receive eight votes for this election because the CYP only had three commune councillors,” Mr Sros said.

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