Phnom Penh — Cambodia’s ruling People’s Party (CCP), led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, has been officially declared the winner in the disputed July election by the national election committee, according to reports.
The announcement came after thousands protested against alleged electoral fraud in a Saturday rally in the capital city of Phnom Penh.
The committee said the CPP won 68 seats, and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) 55 seats.
Hun Sen has been in power in Cambodia for the past 28 years, and has vowed to continue ruling until he is in his seventies. He is currently 61 years old.
Sam Rainsy, the opposition leader, contends there was widespread election rigging.
The announcement of the committee’s official findings means he can no longer contest the vote legally, but he insists he won’t give up.
“We do not accept results that do not reflect the real will of the people. These are the results of voter fraud,” he said to reporters.
“We will continue to protest all over the country, not only in Phnom Penh. Protests will take the form of marches,” he added.
Initial figures showed the CPP received 3.2 million votes, compared to the opposition’s 2.9 million.
These figures have not yet been officially confirmed by the election committee.
Hun Sen’s government has often been criticized for ignoring human rights and suppressing political dissent. Image/news.yahoo.com