The ruling Cambodian People’s Party claimed victory in 70 percent of communes in the June 4 commune elections, according to official results announced on Sunday.
The National Election Committee (NEC) said the CPP had secured 1,156 seats out of a possible 1,646 and more than 3.5 million votes, with the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party gaining control of 489 local authorities, up by 449 from its pre-election total.
The Khmer National United Party won the remaining seat.
The CPP welcomed the results, but the CNRP claimed the elections were “unfair”, despite election observers raising few complaints of irregularities on polling day.
Sok Eysan, CPP spokesman, said the party was “satisfied” with the final tally.
“The Cambodian People’s Party accepts the official result gratefully since the CPP has always fulfilled its duty and been responsible for its actions,” he said.
Yim Sovann, CNRP spokesman, did not answer a question about whether the party accepted the results.
“The political situation was bad even before [former party leader] Sam Rainsy was not able to participate in the election. There was violence and detention of activists and human rights workers daily. Those factors made the election unfair and not free,” he said.
He suggested that the NEC should reevaluate its vote-counting procedures before the general election in 2018, without giving specifics.
Hang Puthea, NEC spokesman, could not be reached.
Civil society groups on Saturday released a statement claiming the election was “unfair and freedom-restricted” while admitting that there were significant improvements compared with previous elections.