cambodia ruling party scores landslide local poll win - Cambodia ruling party scores landslide local poll win

Cambodian election officials count ballots at a polling station during local commune elections in Phnom Penh on June 5, 2022. (Photo by TANG CHHIN Sothy / AFP)

AFP – Cambodia’s ruling party won a landslide victory in local polls, preliminary results released by the country’s National Election Committee showed Monday.

The country voted Sunday with opposition figures hoping to dent long-time leader Hun Sen’s grip on power ahead of national elections next year.

But preliminary results showed the prime minister’s rulingCambodian People’s Party (CPP) had scored a landslide, taking roughly 80 percent of the total seats.

The opposition Candlelight Party (CP) managed to gain some traction, polling at 18 percent.

The CP said in a statement the election was “not free and fair”, and did “not reflect the will of Cambodian people”.

However, the party stopped short of rejecting the results.

Internal CPP documents seen by AFP showed Hun Sen’s partyreceived more than 5.3 million popular votes, while the CP managed around 1.6 million votes.

Roughly seven million people voted in the election, the NEC said on Sunday, with turnout around 78 percent.

Official results are not expected until June 26.