CAMBODIA
Parliamentary Chamber: Radhsphea Ney Preah Recheanachakr Kampuchea

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1998

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Chamber:
  Radhsphea Ney Preah Recheanachakr Kampuchea


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  26 July 1998


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  General elections for 120 Deputies last took place in May 1993. In September 1993, the Constituent Assembly that had been chosen on that occasion was renamed National Assembly when a new Constitution was adopted. In July 1997, Second Prime Minister Hun Sen (Cambodian People’s Party - CPP) ousted his senior coalition government partner, Prince Norodom Ranariddh (United National Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Co-operative Cambodia - FUNCINPEC) following a dispute over how to deal with dissident members of FUNCINPEC and former Khmer Rouge leaders and, the following month, Mr. Ung Huot was designated to replace him as First Prime Minister. General elections were announced for May 1998 but subsequently postponed until July by the National Assembly on grounds that essential preparations for the poll, including voter registration, were running late.

Of the 39 parties fielding candidates for the expanded Assembly’s 122 seats, the key rivals were the ruling CPP, FUNCINPEC and the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP). This last group was headed by former Minister of Finance Sam Rainsy, an ally of Prince Ranarridh in the opposition ranks. The main opposition forces initially vowed to boycott the poll unless its date was pushed back. During the one-month campaign which started on 25 June, Mr. Rainsy spoke out especially against human rights violations and corruption in official circles.

International observation of the elections was co-ordinated primarily by the United Nations; its Joint International Observer Group (JIOG) included representatives of the European Union and ASEAN. Altogether more than 500 foreign monitors, working alongside a national observer group, kept track of the voting process. Except for an armed attack in the northern part of the country, polling day itself was generally peaceful, in contrast to the often violent campaign, and marked by a high turnout of 90%.

Final results, as issued on 1 September, gave the CPP the most seats - an absolute majority total of 64. The opposition challenged the fairness of the polling, but the international observers approved the voting procedure as a whole.

On 25 November, Prince Ranariddh - son of King Norodom Sihanouk - was elected Speaker of the National Assembly. Five days later, the Assembly approved the CPP-FUNCIPEC coalition Government headed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (26 July 1998): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 5,400,000 (approx.)
Voters 4,902,488

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Cambodian People's Party (CPP) 2,030,802 41.4
United National Front for an Independent, Neutral Peaceful and Co-operative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC) 1,554,374 31.7
Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) 699,653 14.3
Others 617,659 12.6

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Cambodian People's Party (CPP) 64
United National Front for an Independent, Neutral Peaceful and Co-operative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC) 43
Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) 15
Others 0

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 112
Women: 10


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Copyright 1998 Inter-Parliamentary Union