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Continued: Cambodian opposition party wants investigation of election results despite impressive gains

  • Article by: SOPHENG CHEANG , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 28, 2013 - 11:45 PM

Despite his party's good showing Sunday, Rainsy will be in an uncertain state. He was not allowed to run as a candidate or even vote in the election, because he missed the registration deadlines as he stayed abroad for almost four years to avoid a jail term for convictions that he said were politically motivated. He returned July 19 only after receiving a royal pardon at the behest of Hun Sen, his longtime and bitter rival.

The pardon was an evident effort by Hun Sen to appease critics of the election process, including the United States, who suggested that Rainsy's exclusion was a major sign that the polls would not be free and fair.

The CNRP showed its combative stance Sunday night, even as it was aware of its gains.

Rainsy had issued a statement early Sunday evening claiming victory, but later retracted it.

Rainsy's wife, Tioulong Saumura, a candidate in Phnom Penh, said she did not accept the ruling party's figures. Asked if she thought the CNRP won more than 55 seats, she replied: "Of course. Almost everywhere we lead. No way we have 55 and they have 68."

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