Representatives from four non-ruling parties gathered at
opposition headquarters Monday to reject Sunday's national election as "a
sham," after the ruling Cambodian People's Party appeared to have won
enough seats to form a single-party government.
Top officials of the Sam Rainsy, Human Rights, Norodom
Ranariddh and Funcinpec parties signed a letter calling on "Cambodian
public opinion and the international community not to recognize the results of
the July 27, 2008, elections, which were manipulated and rigged by the ruling
Cambodian People's Party."
There have not been five separate parties elected to the
National Assembly since the 1993 Untac elections, and the joining together of
four against one is unprecedented.
In 1998, the Sam Rainsy and Funcinpec parties joined
together to protest election results in the wake of the 1997 coup.
That three-month crisis of government led to mass
demonstrations in the capital and a brutal crackdown by government forces,
where scores of demonstrators were disappeared and presumed killed.
In 2003, the government was deadlocked for 11 months, due to
an alliance between Funcinpec and SRP that prevented a coalition government.
"We have already strengthened together to deny the
results of the election, and also for the voters," opposition leader Sam
Rainsy told a large crowd gathered at his headquarters Monday afternoon.
"We need to revote across Cambodia."
"We appeal to the EU and the international community to
deny the results, because there are so many irregularities during the
election," Human Rights Party Presdient Kem Sokha told the same cheering
The parties "hope in the future will have an alliance
together" and have the same goals, he said.
The main point for the alliance would be to send a message
to the people "who love justice" to come to work together.
The four parties condemned "illegal and fraudulent
practices" in Sunday's polls, including "deletion of countless
legitimate voters' names and [an] artificial increase in the CPP voters to cast
their ballots for the CPP."
The parties also condemned "the tricks and maneuvers of
the National Election Committee, which is only a tool for the CPP to organize a
sham election and present a façade of democracy."
"I'm not surprised about this information," NEC
Chairman Im Sousdey told reporters
Monday. "We always see after the election Cambodian political parties doing
the same thing."
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Monday unofficial
results now showed the CPP with 90 seats, followed by the Sam Rainsy Party with
26, Human Rights Party with three, Norodom Ranariddh with two, and Funcinpec
Khieu Thai Sarakmony, a 57-year-old from Phnom Penh who joined the crowd at SRP
headquarters Monday, said he supported the cooperation of the four parties for the people.
"But it should have been earlier," he said, "before