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US urges probe into Cambodia vote 'irregularities'

Cambodia's opposition party leader Sam Rainsy speaks during a press conference in Phnom Penh on July 29, 2013
Leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy speaks at a press conference in Phnom Penh on July 29, 2013. The United States voiced concern on Monday about reports of irregularities in Cambodia's weekend elections and called fo

The United States voiced concern on Monday about reports of irregularities in Cambodia's weekend elections and called for a credible investigation.

"We urge all parties and their supporters to continue to act in an orderly and peaceful manner in the post-election period," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The Cambodian opposition rejected the results of the polls even though it made significant gains, saying it had been robbed of victory over strongman Premier Hun Sen.

"We are concerned by numerous reported irregularities in the electoral process," Psaki said, adding that Washington had long called on Phnom Penh "to address systemic flaws such as problems in the voter registry and unequal access to the media."

"We call for a transparent and full investigation of all credible reports of irregularities," Psaki told reporters.

It was the worst election result for Cambodia's ruling party since 1998, after the opposition was emboldened by the return from exile of its leader Sam Rainsy, even though he was barred from running.

Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party (CPP) announced late Sunday it had taken an estimated 68 out of the 123 seats in the lower house, against an increased 55 for the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

"We believe that, of course, the Cambodian people should have confidence in the outcome of the election," Psaki added.

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