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Election officials fine CPP, SRP

The Cambodian People’s Party and the Sam Rainsy Party have each been fined 10 million Riels ($2,500) by the National Election Committee for breaching electoral laws while campaigning for the July 27 poll.

The penalties were announced by the committee’s president, Im Suosdey, after hearings on July 23.

He said complaints brought by the SRP had resulted in the CPP being fined for its members having used vehicles bearing RCAF and State number plates while campaigning in Kampot and Preah Vihear provinces respectively.

The SRP was fined after the committee found that its leader, Sam Rainsy, had used derogatory language to refer to the members of other parties, Suosdey said.

He said the court had rejected a move by the CPP to have Sam Rainsy removed from the list of election candidates.

The CPP had lodged 11 complaints against Sam Rainsy alleging the use of derogatory language while campaigning in Kratie and Kampong Cham provinces.

CPP lawyers told the hearing that Sam Rainsy had accused the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party of stealing from the country. They also said that in referring to campaign posters showing the three CPP leaders, Sam Rainsy had said “the middle one of the three is the nastiest.”

Lawyers acting for the SRP disputed whether Sam Rainsy had breached the law.

They said Sam Rainsy had not referred specifically to any individual member of the CPP. They said the party leader had asked crowds while campaigning if they wanted to know which prominent families were stealing from the nation.

The lawyers said that when the crowds responded in the affirmative, Sam Rainsy had limited his reply to saying that the heads of the three families could be seen on posters placed on walls and trees throughout the Kingdom.

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