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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 08:11 GMT
Ruling party wins Cambodia poll
Hun Sen, 3 Jan
There are worries about Cambodia's direction under PM Hun Sen
Cambodia's ruling party has won the country's first Senate elections, according to provisional results.

The National Election Committee said Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party (CPP) received 7,854 out of 11,352 possible votes.

Sunday's poll has been criticised because only local councillors and MPs were allowed to take part.

Because their political affiliations were already known, the result was virtually a foregone conclusion.

A number of organisations refused to monitor the elections, because they said the process was undemocratic.

While the CPP won 7,854 votes, the two main opposition groups lagged far behind, with the royalist Funcinpec party winning 2,320 votes and the opposition Sam Rainsy Party 1,165.

Hun Sen's party looked on course to gain about 43 of the 57 Senate seats, eight more than it has now, said party spokesman Khieu Kanharith.

Official results are expected later in the week.

The current Senate was nominated by the parties in proportion to the number of seats they held in the National Assembly.

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