The party of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has won the country's general election by a clear margin, according to preliminary official results.
Hun Sen's victory is shadowed by uncertainty
But the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) failed to secure the two-thirds majority required to rule alone, and now needs a partner to form a coalition government.
Both the main opposition parties have said they will not work with the CPP unless Hun Sen steps down as prime minister, which he has repeatedly refused to do.
The stalemate threatens to take Cambodia back to the turmoil and bloodshed which followed the 1998 elections, when the outcome was disputed for four months and led to violent demonstrations.
According to the National Election Commission, the CPP won 47% of votes cast in Sunday's election.
CAMBODIAN ELECTION RESULTS
Cambodian People's Party: 47.28%
Sam Rainsy Party: 21.89%
Official results announced on 8 August
The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) came second with 22%, and the royalist Funcinpec party received 21% of the vote.
Because of the country's proportional representation system, it is still unclear how many seats these percentages will translate into in the country's 123-member National Assembly.
The National Election Committee will announce how many seats each party will hold on 8 August.
Both the Sam Rainsy Party and Funcinpec - Hun Sen's junior coalition partner in the outgoing government - said earlier this week that they would not join a coalition led by Hun Sen.
The two parties have also rejected early projections of the results, alleging widespread irregularities and fraud in the election process.
But Hun Sen told reporters that if Funcinpec refused to join a CPP-led coalition, the royalist party would face political "suicide".
"They will become an opposition party that will be weaker than the current opposition (Sam Rainsy) party," he said.
Hun Sen said he would hold a cabinet meeting on Friday and any royalist ministers who did not attend would be sacked.
"If they do not attend the cabinet meeting, it means they
have abandoned their jobs," he said.
Meanwhile, the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) has called for a
tripartite government to be established, with SRP members working together with those from the CPP and Funcinpec.
But Hun Sen has also denounced this suggestion.
"I would like the opposition party not to act like it was preparing for government instead of the winning party," he said.
"I am the winner, my party won."