PHNOM PENH, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy warned Sunday that the country will face a political crisis if an independent committee is not established to look into alleged irregularities during the July 28 election.
"Once again, I would like to appeal to the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) to agree to the establishment of an independent investigation committee into irregularities during the election," Sam Rainsy, President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), told reporters at the party's headquarters in Phnom Penh.
He said the independent committee must exclude the current National Election Committee (NEC), which is widely seen as being loyal to the CPP.
"This is a fair mechanism to sort out the problems peacefully," he said. "But if the CPP does not agree with our reasonable request, Cambodia will have crisis, no one will recognize the election results."
However, the CPP has repeatedly rejected such demand, saying that no joint poll probe committee will be formed without the NEC' s involvement.
The NEC released the initial election results on Monday, showing that the CPP of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen got 3. 23 million votes and the CNRP received 2.94 million votes.
The CPP claimed it won 68 seats of the 123-seat National Assembly, while the CNRP got the remaining 55 seats.
But the CNRP claimed that it should win 63 seats, with the CPP getting the remaining 60 seats if an independent committee is set up to investigate alleged poll irregularities.
NEC secretary general Tep Nytha said Saturday that there was no need to talk about the joint poll probe committee as the initial results had already been released, adding that the final results will be issued on September 8.
CNRP's Vice President Kem Sokha said Thursday that the party will boycott the first parliamentary session and call for a mass protest if the proposed committee is still not established to investigate poll fraud.
"If there is not an independent committee to look into poll irregularities, we will not attend the first National Assembly session; then, our last resort is a mass demonstration," he told supporters at the party's headquarters.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Aug. 2 that a new parliament and a new government would be sworn in as scheduled despite the opposition's boycott.
Hun Sen, 61, who has been in power for 28 years, will continue to rule the country for another five years through the election victory.
The constitution stated that a new parliament will be inaugurated no later than 60 days after the election.