Cambodia’s government rejected on Tuesday calls by the opposition for an international inquiry into allegations it used massive fraud to win re-election, and said it wanted parliament to approve a new cabinet quickly. The United States and European Union expressed concern about irregularities in Sunday’s election but both said an investigation should be conducted by Cambodian electoral authorities, failing to endorse the opposition’s call for an inquiry involving the United Nations. The government announced on Sunday that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen had won 68 seats in the 123-seat parliament, a sharp fall from its previous tally of 90. The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) nearly doubled its seat total to 55, in a major surprise and a setback for Hun Sen.
CNRP leader Sam Rainsy said up to 1.3 million names had been missing from the electoral rolls and complained about lack of access to the media as well as intimidation on the campaign trail.
Ouch Borith, secretary of state at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, rejected such allegations at a news conference. “We have over 10,000 national observers and over 100 international observers who reckoned our election was held in a peaceful manner without any violence, free and fair,” he said.
There was no proof of any missing names, he added. “The opposition party should be asked to show clearly what evidence it has about the irregularities it alleges. The National Election Committee has already said ‘please bring up evidence, don’t just say it, so we can work together to solve things’.”