Opposition demands probe into Cambodia poll results

Last Updated: Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 14:07

Phnom Penh: A mass protest called by Cambodia`s main opposition party over disputed election results came to a peaceful end Saturday with a call for an independent probe into the polls results.

At least 20,000 opposition supporters joined the four-hour rally at the capital`s Freedom Park to protest against the results of the July 28 election in which Prime Minister Hun Sen`s ruling party won a majority of vote, reports Xinhua.

The non-violent demonstration was organised a day ahead of the official release of the final election results.

Initial election results showed long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen`s the Cambodian People`s Party (CPP) won the poll with 68 of the 123 parliamentary seats, and the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of long-time opposition leader Sam Rainsy took the remaining 55 seats.

But the opposition rejected the results, claiming it should have won 63 seats, and the CPP should have got 60 seats, provided alleged poll irregularities were fairly resolved.

Addressing the rally, Sam Rainsy said the protest was to demand the formation of an independent poll irregularity investigation committee.

"We will not recognise the election results if an independent committee is not formed to investigate alleged poll irregularities," he said.

"We are seeking justice for vote owners. No justice, no peace."

He also appealed to the country`s King Norodom Sihamoni to help mediate a top leaders` meeting between the two parties in order to find a peaceful solution to the contested election results.

The king is currently in Beijing for a medical check-up.

Kem Sokha, CNRP`s vice president, called for the National Election Committee (NEC) to postpone the release of the final election results until an independent committee is formed to investigate poll irregularities.

"If the NEC still releases the official results (on Sunday), we will organise another mass protest," he warned.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that a new Parliament and a new government would be established as scheduled despite the opposition`s boycott.

According to the country`s constitution, he said, a new government would be formed by a 50 percent plus one majority, or 63 lawmakers, in the new parliament, no later than 60 days after the election.

IANS



First Published: Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 14:07

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