PHNOM PENH: Thecommunal election in Cambodiaon Sunday (Jun 4) recorded a "highly satisfactory" voter turnout of 85.74 per cent of the total registered voters, Cambodian election watchdog COMFREL told reporters after the poll closed.
COMFREL (Committee for Free and Fair Elections) said this year's voter turnout was higher than that of any elections in previous years, including the 65.1 per cent in the 2012 communal election.
The poll started at 7am local time and closed at 3pm. No major voting irregularities have been reported so far, the watchdog told reporters at a press conference in the capital Phnom Penh. Some minor complaints included a lack of voting materials and voters being prevented from observing vote counting at certain polling booths.
3pm: Polls closed. Vote counting began. Preliminary result of Cambodian communal election by National Election Committee by 5pm local time.pic.twitter.com/69JBye3CDv
More than 7.8 million eligible voters registered for the Sunday election, which covers 1,646 communes nationwide. According to the National Election Committee (NEC), about 6.74 million people showed up to cast their ballots.
Ballots cast by millions of Cambodians are being counted in polling stations nationwide. Election observers present to monitor vote countingpic.twitter.com/rrtzqXseSV
COMFREL deployed 14,580 observers at polling stations across Cambodia this year. The group also launched a mobile application and telephone hotline to receive complaints about voting irregularities.
During the election campaign period, which lasted between May 20 and Jun 2, 97 complaints were received. About 90 of them have been resolved, according to the watchdog.
Prior to the polling day, some observers in Kandal province claimed they had been intimidated by local authorities and decided to withdraw from their duty.
Preliminary election results released by the NEC showed that it was a very tight race between Prime Minister Hun Sen's CPP and Kem Sokha's opposition CNRP, with the opposition leading in urban areas such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and the ruling party claiming victory in a number of rural areas.