Skip to main content

Cambodia goes to polls but results all-but-certain

From Victoria Kennedy and Erika Pineros, CNN
July 28, 2013 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Hun Sen has been in office for 28 years
  • The three main parties teamed up, and hoped for strength in numbers
  • More than 9 million people were eligible to vote
  • Opposition parties alleged widespread irregularities

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) -- Cambodians went to the polls Sunday for an election whose outcome is all but certain: five more years in power for long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Hun Sen has been in office for 28 years. And so confident was he of victory, he didn't bother campaigning ahead of the elections.

Still, opposition groups were energized.

The three main parties teamed up, and hoped for strength in numbers: Enough votes to take over control from the ruling party.

More than 9 million people were eligible to vote.

The excitement bubbled over Friday when opposition leader Sam Rainsy returned home from exile in France.

He left in 2009 to avoid prison on charges of spreading disinformation -- charges many considered politically motivated. International pressure led to him receiving a royal pardon last week. But he arrived too late to run for office.

On election day, opposition parties alleged that widespread irregularities had marred the balloting.

At a local high school in Phnom Penh, the names of voters registered with the opposition parties were either missing or misspelled -- meaning they couldn't vote.

The national election committee said it worked hard to ensure the election was far.

"In preparing for the election this year, we started in the middle of 2012," said Tep Nytha, the secretary general of the committee, ahead of the balloting.

Opposition supporters told CNN that if they end up losing the election due to voter fraud, they will appeal the results -- but do so in a peaceful way.

They will take their grievance to the United Nations, they said, rather than to the streets.

Final results are expected to be announced later Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1921 GMT (0321 HKT)
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT