The ruling party of Cambodian Premier Hun Sen claimed victory in Sunday’s elections which were marred by allegations of widespread irregularities, but it faced rare competition from a resurgent opposition.

Though official results had yet to be announced, the Prime Minister’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) said it expected to take 68 out of the 123 seats in the lower house.

“We can say we’ve won this election,” CPP spokesman told AFP.

The CPP had 90 seats in the previous Parliament, so if confirmed the result would mark the loss of more than 20 seats, despite the exclusion of opposition leader Sam Rainsy who was barred from running. The electoral authorities said final results could take weeks to compile.

Mr. Hun Sen (60), a former Khmer Rouge fighter, has been in power for 28 years. — AFP