The results of the 2013 Cambodian National Assembly Elections have been confirmed by the National Election Committee (NEC) at 68 seats for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to 55 to the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), as the NEC closed its investigation on August 19.
The opposition CNRP, formed in 2012 from the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, filed 32 complaints of election irregularities following the elections held on July 28th. CNRP leader, Sam Rainsy, claimed that his party should have won 63 seats to the ruling party’s 60. Rainsy called for international oversight of the investigation into election irregularities. But NEC President, Im Suosdey, said to reporters on August 4th that extending an invitation to the United Nations is 'outside [his] jurisdiction'.
Since the 1993 Constitution was devised, some trends are beginning to emerge in Cambodian elections. The 2013 elections mark the first instance of the CPP winning fewer seats than in the previous election. Cambodian voter turnout, which was once the second highest in the world (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) has fallen slightly, to just under 70%. The number of parties contesting elections continues to reduce, with eight parties contesting the 2013 election, down from ten in 2008. In the 1995 election, 35 parties contested the election. This election was the first time that candidates held televised debates, hosted on July 21 and 22, along with nine additional debates for provincial candidates which was sponsored by the US-funded National Democratic Institute. As previously reported, social media was employed both by the opposition and by young voters in the run-up to this election. William E. Todd, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, writing in the The Cambodian Herald explained that,
“From my discussions with representatives of both political parties, civil society leaders, and everyday citizens, it seems clear that there is a broad consensus among Cambodians that the elections were a resounding call for meaningful reforms, particularly in the electoral process, economic expansion, and combating corruption”
in a recent article published in The Cambodian Herald.