Parliamentary Chamber: Constituent Assembly


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  Constituent Assembly

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  23 May 1993
28 May 1993

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held to fill all the seats of the Constituent Assembly.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The elections for the Constituent Assembly took place within the framework of the Agreement on a Comprehensive Political Settlement of the Cambodian Conflict. Pursuant to this Agreement, and at the request of the United Nations Security Council, the UN Secretary General established the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UN-TAC) with a mandate which encompassed aspects relating to human rights, the organization and conduct of free and fair elections, military arrangements, civil administration, the maintenance of law and order, the repatriation and resettlement of Cambodian refugees and displaced persons, and the rehabilitation of essential Cambodian infrastructure during the transition period. UNTAC became operational on 15 March 1992 and deployed 1,500 civilians, 16,000 military staff and 3,600 police in addition to several thousands of Cambodian.

The elections were preceded by the registration of eligible voters. The process was launched in October 1992 and concluded in March 1993 when 4,764,430 Cambodians, or over 96% of the eligible population, had registered to vote.

A total of 20 political parties had registered to participate in the elections. The main contenders included the Cambodian Peoples’ Party (CPP) led by Mr. Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the State of Cambodia, the royalist Front uni national pour un Cambodge indépendant, neutre, pacifique et coopératif (FUNCINPEC) led by Prince Norodom Rannariddh (son of the Head of State, then Prince Norodom Sihanouk), and the Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (BLDP), which was led by a former Prime Minister of Cambodia, Mr. Son Sann. On the other hand, the Party of Democratic Kampuchea (PDK), also known as the “Khmer Rouge”, did not register for the elections and did indeed later on vow to disturb them.

The main issue in the election campaign centred around Cambodia’s future, with some parties also seeking to exploit the issue of Vietnamese in Cambodia. The election campaign lasted from 7 April to 19 May. During this period some 1,500 rallies – all peaceful – were held throughout the country and were attended by more than 800,000 Cambodians. Nevertheless, the campaign was also marred by violence. UNTAC reported a considerable number of serious instances of political violence, harassment and intimidation resulting in large numbers of deaths, injuries and abductions. Prior to the polling period, the PDK vowed to disrupt the conduct of the polls. In response to the numerous security incidents leading up to the elections and the firm opposition expressed by that party, UNTAC decided not to conduct polling in areas controlled by the armed forces of the PDK, nor in some remote areas in which they operated. Thus, the number of polling stations was reduced and security measures were stepped up.

Polling took place from 23 to 25 May at fixed and mobile polling stations. Some of the fixed stations were subsequently redeployed on 26 May as mobile stations where polling took place on 27 and 28 May. Contrary to most expectations, no major security incident occurred and polling took place peacefully. At the end of the polling period, close to 90% of the registered voters had participated in the poll.

FUNCINPEC emerged as the winner of the poll, having obtained more than 45% of the valid votes cast, closely followed by the CPP which received over 38%. Some of the elected members of the CPP were disappointed with the result and sought eventually to establish a break-away republic composed of some of Cambodia’s easternmost provinces. The rebellion failed and those involved lost their seats and were replaced by “next-in-line” candidates from the same party. Subsequently, the Constituent Assembly had its first sitting on 14 June 1993.

Round no 1 (23 to 28 May 1993): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 4,764,430
Voters 4,134,631 (86.78%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 123,304
Valid votes 4,011,327

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Front uni pour un Cambodge indépendant, neutre, pacifique et coopératif (FUNCINPEC) 1,824,188 45.47
Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) 1,533,471 38.23
Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (BLDP) 152,764 3.81
Molinaka and Naktaorsou Khmer for Freedom Party (MONATH) 55,107 1.37

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Front uni pour un Cambodge indépendant, neutre, pacifique et coopératif (FUNCINPEC) 58
Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) 51
Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (BLDP) 10
Molinaka and Naktaorsou Khmer for Freedom Party (MONATH) 1

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 115
Women: 5

Distribution of seats according to age:  
31-35 years 2
36-40 years 17
41-45 years 34
46-50 years 27
51-55 years 21
56-60 years 10
61-65 years 6
66-70 years 2
Over 70 years 1

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Copyright © 1993 Inter-Parliamentary Union