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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia's opposition party alleges voters' identity fraud

Cambodia's opposition party alleges voters' identity fraud

120622_02

A woman votes in nationwide commune elections earlier this month at a polling station in Kampong Cham province. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

The opposition Sam Rainsy Party yesterday produced eight phony statements of identification allegedly used by a ruling party commune councillor to rig results in the June 3 election.

SRP leader Sam Rainsy sent copies of the statements of identity which had serial numbers that did not match those for the same names in the voter list and had been distributed in Preah Sihanouk province’s Bet Trang commune.

Sam Rainsy alleged the 1018 forms – statements of identity issued to people who do not have correct ID – were issued in the dying moments before the ballot in a bid to inflate the CPP’s vote.

“These ‘statements of identity’ were to be issued by Bet Trang commune authorities BEFORE voting day to voters residing in the commune who don’t have the standardised National Identity Card,” he said by email.

Yim Sovann, SRP party spokesman, alleged the forms were issued for Vietnamese people who arrived in Cambodia on election day, under-age voters and people just passing by the commune, who were then given money to vote for the CPP.

“Of course, there is some evidence, we find out about a few, but I think it is like the counterfeit money, if they find one or two, it means they have the machine to print it,” he said.

Tep Nytha, secretary-general of the National Election Committee, said Eung Sarom, first deputy chief of Bet Trang commune, was responsible for the fake statements of identity and had been warned by the provincial election committee not to do it again.

“In the case in Bet Trang commune in Preah Sihanouk, we recognised that he was wrong, but it did not affect the result of election, because he just issued a few statements of identity – it is a small mistake but it is administrative mistake,” he said.

Eung Sarom denied he had distributed fake 1018 forms and accused the SRP of being sore losers.

“They did not have witnesses, they only have a few pieces of paper. There was no witnesses coming to clarify in PEC’s hearing. I don’t know where they got those papers from,” he said.

The European Union urged the government to abolish 1018 forms after the 2008 National Election because they can easily be manipulated.

To contact the reporters on this story: Meas Sokchea at sokchea.meas@phnompenhpost.com
David Boyle at david.boyle@phnompenhpost.com

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