PHNOM PENH (AFP) — About 300 supporters of Cambodia’s main opposition party rallied in Phnom Penh on Wednesday to protest the results of the weekend election and to demand a re-run of the poll.
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party has claimed victory in the Sunday poll, saying it captured at least 90 of the 123 seats in parliament, giving it more than a two-thirds majority.
“We cannot accept the results of the election. Please cancel the results of the election and hold a re-vote,” opposition leader Sam Rainsy told the crowd gathered inside his party headquarters in the capital.
Sam Rainsy has estimated that one million out of 8.1 million registered voters were cut from the rolls, although European Union election observers have pegged that figure at 50,000.
“It is very unjust,” Sam Rainsy said to the cheering crowds, adding that he will file complaints against National Election Committee (NEC) officials.
Dozens of police were deployed along the streets near Sam Rainsy Party headquarters to prevent a public demonstration. The party’s deputy secretary general Mu Sochua stood at the entrance, shouting over a loudhailer that the election was “not free and unfair” and urging people to join the rally inside.
NEC secretary general Tep Nytha denied the opposition allegation that one million people had been denied a vote and said there was no law that permitted a re-run of the entire election.
“The case that one million people could not vote because their names had been disappeared from voting lists is not correct,” he told AFP.
International monitors said Tuesday the election was flawed and did not meet key standards despite improvements in electoral processes.