៨ មិថុនា ២០១៧ / 08 June 2017
អត្ថាធិប្បាយ ពីលទ្ធផល នៃការបោះឆ្នោត ឃុំ-សង្កាត់ កាលពីថ្ងៃ ៤ មិថុនា ២០១៧។ Comment on the results of the 4 June 2017 commune council elections.
HUGE GAINS FOR THE CNRP AT THE 4 JUNE 2017 COMMUNE COUNCIL ELECTIONS
We first must salute the bravery and determination of opposition supporters who overcame threats of civil war made by Prime Minister Hun Sen. Those threats showing that Hun Sen wants to cling to power at any cost could have restricted the election turnout last Sunday. The record rate of participation (89% versus 65% at the previous local elections in 2012) shows the growing political maturity of the Cambodian people.
In spite of the fact that the June 4 polls were anything but free (from fear and intimidation following the recent and ongoing political crackdown) and fair (given the uneven playing field resulting from the use of State armed forces, courts and assets by the ruling CPP and from my forced exile after the government banned my return to Cambodia), support for the united democratic opposition represented by the CNRP reached a record level of 45% of the popular vote (versus 30% at the previous commune elections in 2012) and the opposition won over 480 commune chief positions (versus 40 in 2012, a 12-fold increase!) for local elections, in which the CPP is recognised as scoring more strongly than it does in legislative elections.
In 2012 the ruling CPP had 8,292 elected commune councillors and the Sam Rainsy Party and Human Rights Party combined 2,955. In 2017 the approximate figures are respectively 6,500 (-22%) for the CPP and 5,000 (+70%) for the CNRP.
At the upcoming senate elections scheduled for January 2018 -- when the commune councillors just elected in 2017 in turn elect new senators for a 6-year term -- the CNRP is expected to obtain 25 senator seats versus 11 now as a result of these gains.
The gap between the scores achieved by the ruling and opposition parties has never been so narrow (48% versus 45% of the popular vote, representing about 200,000 votes only). For the first time the CNRP collected more than 3 million votes (for an electorate of 7 million voters in 2017).
The above results are a solid base for a CNRP victory at the legislative elections in July 2018, given that the opposition will more fully benefit from the potential votes of over a million migrant workers (presently living in Cambodia and Thailand) at an election considered more important and more decisive, therefore mobilizing more voters.
Besides, between 2017 and 2018 -- as every year over the last five years or so -- over 300,000 young people (in a population of 15 million) will reach the voting age and will likely take part in next year’s national elections. We all know that, in their vast majority, young voters tend to support the opposition, which explains the continuous surge of the CNRP.
Cambodia's political momentum is in one direction only.
Former president of the CNRP
សម រង្ស៊ី / Sam Rainsy