An opposition commune councillor in Prey Veng province was detained briefly by police yesterday and questioned over the distribution of a fake IRI survey that had drawn the government’s ire.
Leang Srorn, Tnort commune police chief, told the Post yesterday that police questioned 58-year-old second deputy commune chief Chheang Bo after discovering him handing out the document yesterday morning.
He said the crackdown came amid a directive from the government ordering local officials to hunt down and arrest those distributing or producing the falsified survey.
“He said he got that document from another activist, Chhiv Em, second deputy chief of Kok Konglech commune, and he just made more copies for his activists to give to others joining the election campaign. He kept one of them to verify whether it is true or not,” said Sron.
The Council of Ministers said Wednesday that the government would hunt down anyone responsible for the “evil” survey, which appears to predict that the opposition would win 54 per cent of the vote and is claimed to have been carried out by the International Republican Institute.
Bo told the Post that he had handed out 10 copies to his activists and kept one in the hopes of verifying the results after some unknown people visited him and other officials and delivered the survey.
“I told the police as I told you: I’m not the one who made the paper up,” he said. “However, now I’m really worried about this problem after the police questioned me.”
Em, the neighbouring commune councillor, said he too was unaware of the provenance of the survey.
Kong Bora, a CNRP candidate in Prey Veng, said his party was investigating the case but believed it to be a trick from ruling-party supporters.
“I think that this issue was created by the people who support the CPP in order to push our activists to be charged and frightened because we are a strong challenger,” he said.