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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Complaints roll in as campaigning begins

Complaints roll in as campaigning begins

Nine complaints have been filed against political parties for alleged campaign violations during the first four days of the election campaign, the National Election Committee said yesterday.

The figure comes just days after the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party released a statement accusing Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling party of encouraging supporters to deface CNRP propaganda.

“Six complaints are currently being resolved. Four [complaints] are in Phnom Penh and two are in Kandal province,” NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha said.

The Phnom Penh complaints were filed by the municipal authority against the CNRP for hanging party flags on city street posts, while in Kandal, the CNRP has accused the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of defacing its propaganda, Nytha said.

Lun Chheng Kay, Phnom Penh president of the Provincial Election Commission (PEC), said representatives from both parties as well as authorities would debate the street posts issue on Tuesday.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann called the complaint “laughable”, claiming election laws do not prohibit the placement of propaganda on street posts.

“There is nothing illegal. There is no law banning [this],” Sovann said, pointing out that the CPP have also used street posts to display propaganda.

In a statement issued late last week, the CNRP claimed its election posters, featuring party logos and pictures of hand-holding leaders Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy, were being destroyed in many parts of the country.

The party then went on to complain about the inaction by government authorities on the issue, going as far as directly accusing Hun Sen of encouraging activists to deface opposition propaganda to prevent a free and fair election.

In his final speech before taking a month-long speaking sabbatical during the election campaign period, Hun Sen early last week denied his party’s involvement in the defacing of signs and vowed to hunt down anti-CNRP vandals, but, conversely, also promised to reward those who turned themselves in.

“The destruction of [CNRP] election propaganda . . . has taken place after Prime Minister Hun Sen’s statement that encouraged illegal actors by promising to acquit them and offer an award [to them] if they confessed,” the CNRP statement read.

The statement also accused the ruling party of “tricking” CNRP activists into tearing down or defacing their own party’s signs, using the financial reward offered for confession to entice them.

National Assembly spokesperson and CPP lawmaker Chheang Vun declined to comment on the issue.



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