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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July, 2003, 06:51 GMT 07:51 UK
Cambodia PM defiant after poll
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen
Hun Sen is unlikely to have enough votes to govern alone
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to stay in power even if he cannot find coalition partners to govern with.

His Cambodian People's Party (CPP) looks set for another term in office following its apparent victory in Sunday's polls, but it is unlikely to secure the two-thirds majority required to rule alone.

However, both the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), and Funcinpec, the junior partner in the outgoing CPP-led coalition, have said they will refuse to join a government led by Hun Sen.

Similar uncertainty after the 1998 elections led to street protests and violence.

I am still the prime minister, I am still the government
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen
On Tuesday, the two parties also rejected CPP projections of the final results, alleging widespread irregularities and fraud.

At the latest official tally, results from 77% of the country put the CPP in front with 49% of the votes. The SRP was in second place with 22%, while Funcinpec had 20%.

Under Cambodia's complex proportional representation rules, the CPP said it expected to take control of 73 of the 123 seats in the National Assembly, nine more than in the last election in 1998.

Final results will not be released until 8 August, but independent poll observers agree with the count, and have broadly approved the electoral proceedings.

Queue of voters
23 political parties competing for 123 seats in the National Assembly
3 main contenders: the Cambodian People's Party, Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party
6.3 m people, half the population, are registered to vote
Official results will not be announced until 8 August

"If a new government cannot be formed, I will remain as I am now," Hun Sen told reporters on Wednesday.

And he told a crowd of farmers south-west of the capital, Phnom Penh: "I am still the prime minister, I am still the government.

"Hun Sen is strong because he has the support of the people."

Analysts said the situation was ominously similar to that which followed the elections in 1998, when disputed results ended in mass protests and violence.

The stalemate could continue for months, because even though the National Assembly has to meet within 60 days of the elections, there is no constitutional limit on when a new government must be formed.

Cambodia Election Guide
25 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Hun Sen
25 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Sam Rainsy
25 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Prince Norodom Ranariddh
25 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Violence haunts Cambodian polls
06 Mar 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Khmer Rouge's legacy of fear
24 May 03  |  Asia-Pacific

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