PHNOM PENH, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen won a landslide victory in the fifth commune elections on Sunday, according to preliminary results released by the National Election Committee (NEC) on Monday.
Seventeen political parties contested in the polls for the 11,622 positions of commune chiefs and councilors for 1,652 communes in the southeast Asian nation for the next five years.
As almost all of the votes counted, the NEC said the ruling CPP had won 9,339 seats or 80.3 percent of the 11,622 commune councilor positions, while the opposition Candlelight Party gained 2,192 seats, or 18.8 percent.
It added that the Funcinpec party earned 19 seats, the Khmer National United Party got 13, the Grassroots Democratic Party won six, the Cambodian Nation Love Party gained five, the Cambodian Youth Party took three, and the Kampucheaniyum Party and the Beehive Social Democratic Party got one each.
NEC's chairman Prach Chan said the voter turnout was 7.17 million, or 77.91 percent of the 9.2 million registered voters and that this percentage was relatively high compared to some other countries in the world.
The ruling CPP got more than 5.3 million votes, while the opposition Candlelight Party earned some 1.6 million votes.
"It was a successful election with a peaceful atmosphere," Chan said in a press conference.
"Security, safety and public order were well maintained, and no incidents or acts of violence were reported," he said.
The final results will be released on June 26.
Held once every five years, the commune elections in Cambodia are seen as a bellwether of party's support ahead of the general election, with the next one to take place in 2023. ■