Former Cambodia Opposition Rejects Election Results

Cambodian voters stand in line to cast their vote on election day, Kandal province, Cambodia, Sunday, July 29, 2018. (Tum Malis/VOA Khmer)

Despite a CNRP campaign to boycott the election, amid threats and voter intimidation, turnout was reported at 82 percent, according to the National Election Committee.

Cambodia’s main opposition party, which was banned last year and excluded from Sunday’s general election, has rejected the results of the poll, with preliminary results showing a landslide victory for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Eng Chhay Eang, the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s vice president, said: “we strongly deny this fake election.”

“We appeal to Cambodia’s friends not recognize the government formed after this election and we urge them to continue to help Cambodia,” he added.

Despite a CNRP campaign to boycott the election, amid threats and voter intimidation, turnout was reported at 82 percent, according to the National Election Committee.

The CNRP, however, told their supporters to ignore the NEC figures, which it said could not be trusted.

“From tomorrow on we won’t stay at home anymore,” Chhay Eang said. “We won’t keep our fingers clean anymore. We will take action together to end the dictatorship in Cambodia. Please do not pay attention to the figures [of voter turnout] because we all know that it's a fake figure; fake results from a fake election.”

The Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP and banned 118 of its officials from politics for five years in November.

“CNRP leaders in and outside of Cambodia will work together to come up with a new strategy to continue our work,” said Rithy Ung, a CNRP representative in the United States. “We won’t be quiet. Our supporters should not be quiet. The time is now that we should act together to advocate for our cause in and outside of Cambodia.”

Twenty political parties competed in Sunday’s election, with preliminary results suggesting the ruling Cambodian People’s Party won all 125 seats in parliament.

The vote was condemned internationally, with the United States threatening further sanctions against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s inner circle and calling for reconciliation with the CNRP.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Cambodia Democracy Act in July, placing limited sanctions on Hun Sen’s closest allies in the CPP.