Monday, 28 July 2008

Hun Sen rivals reject Cambodia election win

Xinhua Newsfeed

PHNOM PENH (Thomson Financial) - Cambodia's main opposition parties Mondayrejected Prime Minister Hun Sen's sweeping victory in weekend elections, sayingirregularities in the voter rolls prevented many people from casting ballots.

Hun Sen's ruling party claims to have won 90 of the 123 seats in parliament.

Election authorities have yet to confirm his victory but say that his CambodianPeople's Party (CPP) has won nearly 60 percent of the ballots counted so far.

Four smaller parties who divided the remaining seats refused to accept theresult, and have demanded a re-run of the election.

"We have decided to join forces to struggle with the Cambodian people to demanda re-run of the election in Cambodia," said main opposition leader Sam Rainsy,whose party was running second with about 23 percent.

"We call on the international community not to recognise the results becausethere were a lot of irregularities," longtime government critic Kem Sokha,leader of the upstart Human Rights Party, told reporters.

The royalist Funcinpec and Norodom Ranariddh Party also signed a statement accusing the government of deleting voters' names from the rolls.

"The main illegal and fraudulent practises are related to the deletion ofcountless voters' names and an artificial increase in the CPP votes," thestatement said.

Kem Sokha said the four parties would consider forming a coalition party tochallenge the CPP.

Election observers have said the problem of missing names on voter rolls wasreal, but they have cast doubt on whether the problem is as widespread as theopposition claims.

Hun Sen had been widely tipped to win due to a booming economy that has help edimprove the quality of life in one of the world's poorest nations, and due tonationalist sentiment sparked by a border feud with Thailand.

He was so confident of victory that his government on Monday began a new roundof border talks with Thailand, even before his re-election has been confirmed.

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