National Election Committee approves list of new parliamentarians

Cambodia’s National Election Committee has distributed the 55 empty parliamentary seats left vacant by the dissolution of the opposition CNRP to three small parties, which will change the composition of the parliament and provide a shot in the army of the ruling CPP, according to the Phnom Penh Post Online report on Saturday.

The NEC rewarded Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s Funcinpec with 41 seats, Cambodian National Party with two and the Khmer Economic Development Party with one. Two other parties, the League of Democracy Party and the Khmer Anti-Poverty Party refused to accept the seats.

Ranariddh will take a seat in Kampong Cham where former CNRP leaders Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy were lawmakers.
This leaves 11 seats rejected by the two parties up for grabs, with the amended law calling for another round of redistribution of seats, this time with the inclusion of the CPP.

Officials were reluctant to give a breakdown of the remaining seats, but according to the formula outlined in the law, all would go to the CPP, taking its parliamatry tally from 68 to 79.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan did not confirm that the CPP would be the beneficiary of any new seats, only saying that they would be welcome. “It is up to the NEC to decide. Yes, if it comes to us, we will accept it,” he said.

National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long said that lists had been received and would be approved quickly.

Cambodia National Party present Seng Sokheng said his party would have a middle stance. “I don’t want to be called opposition party, but the party outside the government,” he added.