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Monday, January 30, 2012

Cambodia's ruling party wins more Senate seats

Jan 30, 2012 (Rasmei Kampuchea Daily - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- ' Phnom Penh (Rasmei Kampuchea Daily/ANN) -- The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) won 78.1 per cent of the vote in Cambodia's Senate elections on Sunday with the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) getting about 21.99 per cent, according to preliminary results announced by the National Election Committee (NEC).

The CPP announced separately that it had won 46 of the 57 seats up for grabs in the indirect election which was limited to less than 12,000 local councillors and national lawmakers. The SRP said it expected to win 11 seats. Two of the other four seats are appointed by the king and the other two are elected by the National Assembly.

Both parties said they were satisfied with the election environment.

Ok Kim An, an official at CPP headquarters, said: "The number of votes for the CPP rose in every province even though the increase varied from one province to another." Yim Sovan, the SRP spokesman, noted that his party had only two seats in the outgoing Senate.

The CPP and SRP were the only two parties to field candidates in the election for the Senate, the third since the upper house was established to resolve a political crisis that followed elections for the National Assembly in 1998.

The ruing party held a majority of almost two thirds in the outgoing senate with 45 seats. Funcinpec, the royalist party which has since split but still governs in a nominal coalition with the CPP, had 21 seats including two voted by the National Assembly. Since it didn't field candidates in Sunday's election, both the CPP and SRP expected to gain.

The preliminary results Sunday showed the CPP winning 8,880 votes of the 11,412 valid votes counted with the SRP getting 2,503 votes, the NEC said. A spokesman said some of the completed ballots were invalid.

Voter turnout among the those eligible to cast ballots was 99.6 per cent. The NEC said 46 of the the eligible 11,470 members of Commune Councils and the National Assembly did not vote.

After voting closed at 3 pm, the NEC said the elections had been held in a safe and secure environment.

Cambodia is scheduled to hold commune elections in June ahead of national parliamentary elections in 2013.

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