Sam Rainsy meeting with commune councilors and candidates in Battambang Province in preparation for the provincial/district council election (Photo: SRP)
11 May 2009
Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Socheata
Click here to read the article in Khmer
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said that he hopes his party will be successful in the upcoming 17 May non-universal election to elect city, province and district councilors.
At the same time, Sam Rainsy declared that, even if next week’s election is non-universal, this is an opportunity for his party members to move forward to serve in national institutions in larger number.
Sam Rainsy said: “This is an opportunity for those who love justice to stand up to defend the people who are victimized from injustice. This is better than nothing. We want to see a universal election, i.e. voters who can cast their ballots directly to elect their representatives at the village, commune, district, province and national levels. However, now, we are not obtaining our wish yet, but what has been organized already up to now, we must take this opportunity to allow the representatives of the people who have a clear standing to occupy positions at the city, province and district levels.”
This is the first time that Cambodia organizes a non-universal election to select councilors for cities, provinces and districts. Tep Nytha, secretary-general of the National Election Committee (NEC), indicated that there will 215 election booths, the election will see 4 parties competing: the CPP, the SRP, Funcinpec and the NRP.
Only commune councilors can vote in this non-universal election. That is why civil society groups declared that the outcome of the election is already known in advance: the CPP will win because it has the largest number of commune councilors.
Nevertheless, Sam Rainsy claimed that his party will win votes also: “Not only do I hope for it, I am confident because the ruling party is using their money power, but the SRP is counting on the people’s will. I am confident that the willpower will win over the power of money, therefore the SRP will receive good results that reflect nationalism, that reflect the love for justice by elected councilors in the entire country.”
The total number of candidates and reserve candidates amounts to 17,290.