Cambodia's ruling party won all seats in July vote -election commission

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is shown in this Aug. 1 2018 file

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is shown in this Aug. 1 2018 file

The Cambodian People's Party (CPP) led by strongman Hun Sen won all 125 seats in parliament during last month's poll.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (right) holding his ballot next to his wife Bun Rany, at a polling station in Kandal province, Cambodia, during the general election on July 29. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.

Several countries, including the USA and various members of the European Union, questioned the legitimacy of the Cambodian elections. The official results, being announced province-by-province and party-by-party Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, were certain to confirm a landslide victory by Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party, but critics called the election unfair because the only credible opposition force, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, could not contest the polls because it was dissolved by court order past year. Sam Rainy already was in exile and the other party founder was in jail awaiting trial on the treason charge.

"We will not abandon more than half of the country who voted for change but were excluded from exercising their choice", Mu Sochua, deputy CNRP leader, told AFP from self-exile. The royalist Funcinpec party of Prince Norodom Ranariddh, once Hun Sen's main rival but now aligned with him, came second with 374,510 votes.

"Sham elections can not produce a legitimate National Assembly", she said.

The CPP was banking on a high voter turnout to bestow a veneer of legitimacy on the election which many, including the United Nations and some Western countries, had criticized.

In the previous general election in 2013 turnout was 69.61 percent, or 6.73 million voters.

It said that since the United States has characterised the election as "flawed and neither free nor fair" the restrictions first applied in December 2017 were further expanded.

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US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the poll was "flawed" and "neither free nor fair".

Relations have soured between the USA and Cambodia in recent years.

Nauert repeated United States calls for the release of Kem Sokha and other political prisoners and for an end to a ban on the political opposition.

"We believe that the Cambodian People's Party will continue to unite and lead the Cambodian people to pursue a development path that suits its own national reality", Xi said, according to China's Foreign Ministry.

NEC spokesman Dim Sovannarom said the CPP won all 125 parliamentary seats.

Sam Rainsy, the self-exiled founder of the opposition CNRP and Hun Sen's chief political nemesis, said the official voting results were fraudulent.

On his Facebook page, he said Wednesday that the vote totals were inflated by 2 million - purportedly cast in the names of people who did not go to the polls - and that all those votes were counted as being for the ruling CPP. "People have made a decision to choose peace, development and continue to democracy in the country", he said.

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