Cambodian royalist party expects more seats in upcoming parliamentary election

2013-07-03 07:22:36 GMT2013-07-03 15:22:36(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

PHNOM PENH, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's royalist Funcinpec Party expected to win more parliamentary seats in a general election on July 28, the party's president, Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey said Wednesday.

Addressing to the party's activists at the capital's Freedom Park on the seventh day of the one-month election campaign, the princess said the party adhered to the leadership style of late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and vowed to protect the monarchy regime and territorial integrity, and maintain peace and national unification.

"I do hope that our party will gain more seats in the forthcoming election," said Arun Rasmey, who is the youngest daughter of late King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

Funcinpec Party was first founded by Sihanouk in 1981. Sihanouk 's son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, led the party to electoral victory in the 1993 UNTAC-sponsored election.

At that time, Ranariddh was co-prime minister in a "two-prime ministers" government with Hun Sen for four years until there was a bloody factional fighting in 1997 and Ranariddh was ousted from the post.

Since then, the party's popularity has gradually declined due to internal rifts. The party won only 2 seats out of the 123 parliamentary seats in the last general election in July 2008.

Some 9.67 million Cambodians are eligible to cast their ballots in the general election on July 28 this month.

Eight political parties set to contest in the election. Three major parties among them are the ruling Cambodian People's Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party led by self-exiled leader Sam Rainsy, and the royalist Funcinpec Party.

Sam Rainsy, Hun Sen's main rival, fled the country in late 2009 before Cambodian court sentenced him to 11 years in prison in absentia.

He is unable to return to Cambodia for the election.

Prime Minister Hun Sen's party won 90 seats in the last election. Political analysts predict that his party will continue to win a landslide victory in the upcoming polls.

Hun Sen, 61, has been in power for 28 years and vowed to stay in the post until he is 74.

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