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'No Checks and Balances' Now: Monitor

A wide margin of victory for the Cambodian People's Party could mean the erosion of legislative measures of influence between parties in the National Assembly, an independent election monitor warned Monday.

"The CPP controls every state institution, including the police, army, civil administration and courts," Thun Saray, chief of the board of directors for the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, told reporters. "The reason why we are concerned is that there are [now] no checks and balances in the National Assembly."

The ruling party claimed to have won enough seats Sunday to form a government and pass important legislation, including constitutional amendments, on its own.

The overwhelming majority of seats could mean the country will be ruled by "the mood and feelings of our leader," said Thun Saray, who is also the director of the rights group Adhoc. "How can we continue to protect the poor victims of human rights violations?"

A single-party government ruled by the CPP was reason for worry, he said, "and we will need to discuss more among us how to work in this new condition and new environment."

The CPP would need 82 seats for a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, eliminating the ability of other parties to block certain legislation or boycott quorums without help from individual CPP members.

The National Election Committee received 30 complaints total related to "quick" vote counting that could lead to inaccuracies, NEC Chairman Im Sousdey said Monday. "These complaints are normal, but we will resolve all the complaints at the level of NEC."