Accessibility links

Breaking News

Hun Sen Promises Partnership With Trounced Funcinpec in Election Aftermath

[Editor's note: For full audio to VOA Khmer's coverage of this story, scroll throughout.]

More complaints of election irregularities rolled in Tuesday, while Prime Minister Hun Sen began looking toward the 2008 National Elections and said he envisioned a continued partnership with fractured Funcinpec.

Sunday's polls saw a sweeping victory for the ruling Cambodian People's Party, but officials from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party and newcomer Norodom Ranariddh Party said they noted a number of violations of election law across the country, including people who had their voter identification cards taken.

The Sam Rainsy Party came in second in unofficial tallies, but Hun Sen said his ruling party would stay with Funcinpec as its coalition partner for next year's parliamentary elections.

"Despite some temporary changes in the commune council election result because of the rift in Funcinpec, there will not be a change in the central government now or in the future after the 2008 general election," Hun Sen said.

Funcinpec broke in two following allegations of embezzlement from the party's former president, Prince Norodom Ranariddh. The prince left the country last year, started his own self-named party and has since been handed an 18-month prison sentence in absentia. Funcinpec spokesman Neou Sovatero said it was an "honor" to be named a "good partner" by Hun Sen.

To listen to Heng Reaksmey report in Khmer, .

The human rights group Adhoc said Tuesday it regretted that nearly 2 million Cambodians did not vote, due to obstacles and complicated procedures leading up to the elections.

Adhoc Director Thun Saray told reporters between 60 percent and 70 percent of a registered 7.7 million voters participated, compared to 86 percent in 2002.

NRP spokesman Muth Chantha said the low turnout meant the will of the people had not been represented.

Voters "could not find their names, and they had no IDs, or if they did, their names were not on [poll] lists," he said.

To listen to Chun Sakada report in Khmer, .

SRP and NRP officials in Kampot province said about 700 villagers failed to vote Sunday because of confusion over voter identification cards and a lack of transportation.

But commune chief Pa Mon said the number of voters was low because some workers had not returned home to vote.

To listen to Seng Ratana report in Khmer, .

The Sam Rainsy Party in Bantey Meanchey province demanded the National Election Committee have a new election there after a much lower number of votes were counted than anticipated registered voters.

Only 18,000 out of 60,000, or 20 percent, voted there. The NEC said a new election was not possible.

Prince Sisowath Thomico of the Sangkum Jatiniyum Front Party called on royalists to re-unite, following the commune elections where royalists had a poor showing.

"An important lesson to be learned from this commune election is that royalist parties are leaving Cambodian politics," he said. "All royalist party leaders should be united; if not, the monarchy might be over."

To listen to Suon Kanika report in Khmer, .