Cambodia ruling party denies collusion with election council to rig votes

Cambodia ruling party denies collusion with election council to rig votes
# 19 August 2013 20:14 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday denied the allegations by the opposition party that it has collusion with the National Election Committee (NEC) for ballot- rigging, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"Some allegations that the CPP has collusion with the NEC for vote-rigging are groundless accusations and have intention to mislead the public about the election process in Cambodia," said a CPP's statement released Monday night. "The CPP categorically rejects these allegations."

The denial came after the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of longtime opposition leader Sam Rainsy has repeatedly accused the NEC of being controlled by the ruling CPP and rigging votes for the CPP during the July 28 national election.

Initial election results showed that the ruling CPP won the poll with 68 seats of the 123 parliamentary seats, while the opposition CNRP got the remaining 55 seats.

But the CNRP did not recognize the results, claiming serious irregularities during the poll. It said the party should win 63 seats, with the CPP getting the remaining 60 seats if an independent committee is set up to look into poll irregularities.

The CNRP has requested an independent poll probe committee that excludes the participation from the current NEC, but the CPP has rejected the request, saying that no any joint poll probe committee will be formed without the NEC's involvement because it is against Cambodian law.

In the statement on Monday night, the CPP said that it would welcome any negotiations with the CNRP in order to sort out all problems peacefully.

It also called for the compatriots to continue keeping calm for national peace and social stability and dignity.

According to the constitution, a new parliament will be established no later than 60 days after the election.

CNRP's Vice President Kem Sokha said last Thursday that the party will boycott the first parliamentary session and call for a mass protest if the proposed independent committee is not established.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Aug. 2 that a new parliament and a new government would be established as schedule despite the opposition's boycott.

According to the constitution, he said, a new government would be formed by a 50 percent plus one majority, or 63 lawmakers, in the new parliament.

Hun Sen, 61, who has been in power for 28 years, will continue to rule the country for another five years through the election outcome.

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