The Senate elections held over the weekend produced results as expected, analysts said Monday. But the polls, open only to already chosen members of local commune councils, don’t reflect the will of the people, election observers said. The ruling Cambodian People’s Party received about 78 percent of the votes, with the opposition Sam Rainsy Party taking the remainder, increasing from two to 11 seats.
Concern mounted yesterday over the lack of funding available for the upcoming 2012 commune and district elections, as representatives from the government’s National Election Committee held a press conference to appeal for more backing. “Up until now, the Royal Government has yet to dispense any funds for the NEC, not even one hundred riel,” Committee chief Im Sousdei said during a speech in Phnom Penh.
“The NEC has budgeted US$23 million for the administration of the elections, which will be held on January 29 of next year,” he said, adding that the NEC was planning to open an additional 790 polling stations, bringing the total nationwide to 18,126.
Koul Panha, executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, yesterday echoed the NEC’s anxieties, calling an adequate budget “very important” for the process of voter registration.