Opposition claims strong showing in local elections
PHNOM PENH | Cambodia’s opposition claimed a strong showing in local elections Sunday that could shake Prime Minister Hun Sen’s longtime grip on power.
Hun Sen repeatedly has warned of civil war if his Cambodian People’s Party loses the majority in city and village councils to the main opposition party, which had made major gains in the general election four years ago, when it claimed it was cheated out of outright victory.
Sunday’s polls could have a major impact on Cambodia’s political landscape ahead of the 2018 general election.
Opposition party spokesman Yim Sovann said his Cambodia National Rescue Party won about 500 communes out of the country’s 1,646.
He said his party received 46 percent of the vote, up from 30 percent in the last local elections in 2012, while the ruling party got 51 percent, down from 62 percent in 2012.
“This is a huge victory for the Cambodia National Rescue Party,” Yim Sovann said at a news conference.
Official results will be announced June 25.