Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party claims election rout, opposition sees ‘death of democracy’
Cambodia woke to a different chapter of rule by strongman Hun Sen a day after an election that was closely criticised by rights teams, the US and different Western international locations.
“The CPP received 77.5 p.c of the votes and received all of the parliamentary seats,” CPP spokesman Sok Eysan advised Reuters by phone. “The opposite events received no seats.”
The White Home mentioned it could contemplate steps, together with an enlargement of visa restrictions positioned on some Cambodian authorities members, in response to “flawed elections” during which there was no vital challenger to Hun Sen.
Critics say the election was a backward step for democracy in Cambodia following the dissolution final 12 months of the primary opposition Cambodian Nationwide Rescue Get together (CNRP) and the jailing of its chief, Kem Sokha, on treason fees.
Former CNRP president Sam Rainsy, who lives in exile, mentioned the election was a “hole” victory for Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander who has dominated Cambodia for practically 33 years.
The US has imposed visa curbs on some Cambodian authorities members over a crackdown on critics and levied sanctions in June on a high-ranking official near Hun Sen.
The European Union has threatened Cambodia with financial sanctions.
White Home Press Secretary Sarah Sanders mentioned in a press release Sunday’s vote “didn’t characterize the need of the Cambodian folks”.
“The flawed elections, which excluded the nation’s principal opposition celebration, characterize probably the most vital setback but to the democratic system enshrined in Cambodia’s structure,” Sanders mentioned. The election marketing campaign was marred by threats from nationwide and native leaders, she mentioned.
“The US will contemplate extra steps to answer the elections and different current setbacks to democracy and human rights in Cambodia, together with a big enlargement of the visa restrictions introduced on December 6, 2017,” Sanders mentioned.
Authorities spokesman Phay Siphan mentioned the White Home assertion was an try to intimidate Cambodia.
“That is in opposition to the Cambodians who went to vote to resolve their very own destiny,” Phay Siphan advised Reuters.
Even because the West criticised the method, Hun Sen nonetheless has one vital ally, China, which provided heat congratulations for a clean election.
China has poured billions of in improvement help and loans into Cambodia via bilateral frameworks and its Belt and Highway initiative to construct a brand new Silk Highway.
“I consider that the Cambodian parliament election is an inner matter for Cambodia,” International Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang advised a each day information briefing in Beijing on Monday.
“We hope that the worldwide group can present constructive assist for Cambodia to stay steady and obtain improvement.”
‘DEATH OF DEMOCRACY’
CNRP Deputy Director of International Affairs Monovithya Kem advised a information convention in Jakarta on Monday the celebration welcomed the White Home assertion and hoped others would observe swimsuit.
The CNRP additionally referred to as on the worldwide group to reject the results of the election.
“29 July 2018 marked the loss of life of democracy in Cambodia, a darkish new day in current historical past,” mentioned CNRP vice chairman Mu Sochua. “The end result introduced by the CPP and the Nationwide Election Committee have to be absolutely rejected by the worldwide group.”
Newspaper headlines in Cambodia on Monday greeted Hun Sen’s victory.
“CPP Dominates Election: Unofficial outcomes present ruling celebration will improve its majority within the Nationwide Meeting,” mentioned the pro-government Khmer Instances newspaper.
Some impartial media have been focused by Hun Sen and his allies in a pre-election crackdown.
Greater than 82 p.c of these registered to vote forged a poll, in line with the Nationwide Election Committee. Turnout was 90 p.c within the 2017 native election and 69.61 p.c within the earlier normal election in 2013.
Polling stations visited by Reuters within the capital, Phnom Penh, have been quiet on Sunday and a few voters mentioned they voted as a result of not doing so would land them in hassle.
The CNRP had referred to as on voters to boycott the election however authorities warned anybody doing so can be seen as a traitor.
On the Kapkor Market in Phnom Penh, Meas Sinuon, 60, mentioned she was happy with Sunday’s end result.
“This authorities has completed good issues already,” she mentioned as she shopped for groceries. “However I need the brand new authorities to do extra to assist the folks.”
One other voter, a Phnom Penh tuk-tuk driver who declined to be recognized, described the end result as “similar”.
Unofficial election outcomes are anticipated in mid-August.