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General elections were held in Cambodia on Sunday, 29 July 2018 to elect members of the sixth National Assembly. Polling stations opened at 07:00 and closed at 15:00. The number of registered voters has decreased for the first time since 1993 and was down 13% from the 2013 general elections.

2018 Cambodian general election

← 2013 29 July 2018 2023 →

All 125 seats in the National Assembly
63 seats needed for a majority
Registered8,380,217 Decrease 13.39%
Turnout6,956,900 (83.02%) Increase 13.41%
  First party
  Hun Sen (2018) cropped (2).jpg
Leader Hun Sen
Party CPP
Leader since 14 January 1985
Leader's seat Kandal
Last election 68 seats, 48.83%
Seats won 125
Seat change Increase 57
Popular vote 4,889,113
Percentage 76.85%
Swing Increase 28.02%

2018 Cambodia Election.png
CPP:      60-70%      70-80%      80-90%

Prime Minister before election

Hun Sen
CPP

Elected Prime Minister

Hun Sen
CPP

With the absence of a credible opposition, the elections were viewed as a formality, and dismissed as sham elections by the international community.[1][2] They resulted in a widely expected landslide victory for the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), which won all 125 seats in the National Assembly.[3] Despite calls to boycott the election, voter turnout was reported to be 83.02%.

BackgroundEdit

The previous elections in July 2013 saw a fourth consecutive victory for the CPP, which won 68 seats in the National Assembly, with the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) claiming the remaining 55 seats. Despite their huge gain in seats, the opposition decried the results and accused the CPP of poll fraud. As a result, the CNRP boycotted parliament in September 2013 and vowed not to enter parliament until electoral reforms had been made.[4] The disputed results led to the outbreak of widespread anti-government protests.[5]

On 10 April 2014, Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed to hold elections five months early in February 2018. However, the opposition rejected the suggestion, demanding elections be held as early as 2015 or mid-2016.[6] On 22 July 2014, the political crisis officially ended and the opposition agreed to take their seats in parliament. It was also agreed that the next elections would be held in 2018.[7] However, CNRP leader Sam Rainsy was stripped from parliamentary immunity, and then barred from returning to Cambodia after leaving the country.[8] His request for a royal pardon was blocked by Sen,[9] and in December 2016, his deputy Kem Sokha replaced him as Minority Leader.[10]

On 11 February 2017, Rainsy announced his resignation as President of the CNRP, and was succeeded by Sokha.[11] On 3 September, Sokha was arrested and charged of "treason", raising questions about the party's future.[12] Another act of repression by the government was the closure of the Cambodia Daily newspaper.[13] On 16 November 2017, the CNRP was dissolved, eliminating any real challenge to the long-ruling CPP.[1] Its seats in parliament were distributed to three other parties.[14]

ResultsEdit

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Cambodian People's Party 4,889,113 76.85 125 +57
FUNCINPEC 374,510 5.89 0 0
League for Democracy Party 309,364 4.86 0 0
Khmer Will Party 212,869 3.35 0 New
Khmer National United Party 99,377 1.56 0 New
Grassroots Democratic Party 70,567 1.11 0 New
Beehive Social Democratic Party 56,024 0.88 0 New
Khmer Anti-Poverty Party 55,298 0.87 0 0
Khmer United Party 48,785 0.77 0 New
Cambodian Nationality Party 45,370 0.71 0 0
Khmer Republican Party 41,631 0.65 0 New
Cambodian Youth Party 39,333 0.62 0 New
Dharmacracy Party 29,060 0.46 0 New
Khmer Economic Development Party 23,255 0.37 0 0
Khmer Rise Party 22,002 0.35 0 New
Ponleu Thmey Party 13,509 0.21 0 New
Cambodia Indigenous People's Democracy Party 10,197 0.16 0 New
Our Motherland Party 9,174 0.14 0 New
Republican Democracy Party 8,591 0.14 0 0
Reaksmey Khemara Party 4,212 0.07 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 594,659
Total 6,956,900 100 125 +2
Registered voters/turnout 8,380,217 83.02
Source: National Election Committee

ReactionsEdit

The legitimacy of the 2018 elections was called into question by various commentators and media outlets.[15][16] There were a record number of invalid ballots, accounting for 8.6% of the total votes cast, more than any votes received by a political party barring the CPP.[17] Also, in areas away from the country's capital, voters claimed that CPP were using intimidation tactics in order to influence the elections' results.[18]

Various international governments including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan and the United States dismissed the election results, and threatened to impose sanctions on Hun Sen's government.[19]

China, the Philippines, Laos and Thailand were among the countries to congratulate the CPP on their victory.[20] Meanwhile the former opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party accused the National Election Committee of misleading the number of voter turnout.[21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Supreme Court rules to dissolve CNRP". The Phnom Penh Post. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Rights Groups Call Out Cambodia's 'Sham' Election". VOA Cambodia. Voice of America. 29 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Hun Sen's CPP wins all parliamentary seats in Cambodia election". Al Jazeera. 15 August 2018.
  4. ^ Heng Reaksmey and Men Kimseng (7 March 2014). "Opposition Standing Firm on Election Reform Demand". Voice of America. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  5. ^ Dara, Mech (23 December 2013). "CNRP Holds Biggest Demonstration in Decades". The Cambodia Daily. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Hun Sen Agrees to Hold Early Election, Wants Deal Signed Before King". Radio Free Asia. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Political deadlock broken". The Phnom Penh Post. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Rainsy Pledges to Return Home Before 2018 National Election". The Cambodia Daily. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Hun Sen Rejects CNRP Request for Pardons". The Cambodia Daily. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Sokha to Replace Rainsy in Parliamentary Position". The Cambodia Daily. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  11. ^ Prak Chan Thul (11 February 2017). "Cambodia opposition leader Rainsy resigns from party". Reuters. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Cambodia Arrests Opposition Leader, Accusing Him of Treason". The New York Times. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Cambodia's government is preparing for elections with repression". The Economist. 7 September 2017.
  14. ^ "List of new National Assembly members approved". The Phnom Penh Post. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Cambodia election: Ruling party claims landslide in vote with no main opposition". BBC News. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  16. ^ Beech, Hannah. "Cambodia Votes for a Leader, With the Result Predetermined by One". New York Times. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Spoilt Cambodian ballot papers seen as protest over 'sham' election". Reuters. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  18. ^ Cambodia's election condemned as a 'sham' CNN July 29, 2018
  19. ^ "International Community Condemns Cambodia Elections as 'Setback to Democracy'". Voice of America. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  20. ^ "China says foreigners should not interfere in Cambodia after election". Reuters. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Former Cambodia Opposition Rejects Election Results". Voice of America. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.