THE Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will fill all 125 parliamentary seats after a landslide victory in Sunday’s uncontested general election, a party representative said on Monday.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan told AFP in an interview that the party “will take all seats across the country” based on an estimated forecast based on initial results.
“I can say it’s a landslide victory,” he said.
Final results will be announced in mid-August.
The CPP is headed by Prime Minister Hun Sen whose heavy-handed bid to retain power has drawn criticism from rights groups and foreign governments.
The former Khmer Rouge general has lead Cambodia for 33 years and has stated numerous times his plans to remain in the top job for another ten years.
To ensure this happens, the government dissolved the only credible opposition party in November, banned its members from politics and imprisoned its leader, Kem Sokha.
The Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) was gaining significant popularity in Cambodia and managed to get 44 percent of the vote in the 2013 general election.
Despite the inevitability of the end result, 82 percent of the people registered to vote came out to cast their ballot on Sunday.
Critics believe a climate of fear and intimidation in the lead up to the election is likely behind the high turnout.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, told Asian Correspondent about the threats rural voters have faced if they fail to vote. These included threats of sacking if they couldn’t present an ink-stained finger to prove they had cast a ballot, and warnings they would lose out on basic services in the future, such as official letters and documents needed in their daily lives.
— Kingsley Abbott (@AbbottKingsley) July 30, 2018
The international response to Hun Sen’s win has been damning.
The White House in a statement said the elections were “neither free nor fair” and expressed disappointment in “the government’s choice to disenfranchise millions of voters.”
In response, the US will be extending visa restrictions on a number of key members of Hun Sen’s administration.
Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said the election process has “reversed more than 25 years of progress towards democracy.”
The European Union has threatened Cambodia with economic sanctions.
Sam Rainsy, an opposition figure who lives in self-exile in France, denounced the foregone election win in a tweet late Sunday.
“For the Cambodian people, unable to make a real choice because of the absence of the CNRP, the result of this false election conducted in a climate of fear is a betrayal of the popular will,” he said.