A Cambodia National Rescue Party commune council candidate was struck and killed by a motorbike on Wednesday while campaigning in Pursat’s Roleab commune, according to police.
Vorn Pheap, police chief in charge of traffic in Pursat town, identified the victim as Nget Sopheap, 38, the CNRP’s third council candidate in Roleab commune. The driver of the motorbike, identified as 15-year-old student Nhoek Chhunlang, suffered a broken leg and internal trauma, and was transferred to a hospital in the capital.
The victim was hit while distributing party leaflets in the commune, and according to witnesses, the teen was driving recklessly, Pheap said. The suspect had a friend with him on the moto, who suffered minor injuries and fled the scene.
“According to Article 85 of the Traffic Law, the suspect will face a punishment of one to three years [in prison], and a fine from 4 million riel to 15 million riel [about $1,000 to $3,750],” Pheap said.
However, Ros Cham Roeun, provincial deputy police chief in charge of traffic, declined to say whether the boy would face legal action, saying the case was still being investigated.
Nget Sopheap’s body was cremated on Wednesday evening, and members of the Cambodian People’s Party attended the funeral to share their condolences, said Rem Samoeun, Pursat town commune council member and director of the CNRP’s election committee in Pursat town.
Samoeun said Nget Sopheap and her husband, Sao Sothea, had supported former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy since he created the Khmer Nation Party in the 1990s. Sothea, who was a council member in Roleab commune, also died in a traffic accident in February of 2016.
“She was a widow with four children, but she was a brave woman, with high responsibility in terms of family, nation and party,” he said. “We are really sorry for her [passing] since she was our outstanding female candidate.”
No replacement for Nget Sopheap has been selected, he added.