The opposition Sam Rainsy Party claimed yesterday that they had caught members of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party attempting to buy an SRP vote in Battambang province and had evidence to prove it.
Mok Ra, Tuol Ta Ek commune councillor in Battambang town, claimed yesterday that he had recorded CPP members Cheam Pe A and Run Thel, both of whom had defected from the SRP, on tape attempting to buy his senate vote for US$700 at the Banorn Hotel on Sunday.
In the recording, the voice belonging to a man the SRP alleged is Cheam Pe A can be heard saying to Mok Ra that he will pay an initial sum of $200 followed by a later installment of $500 if no complaint to authorities was lodged.
“As a principle, they [the CPP] give you 1 million riel ($246). If [Mok] Ra can help, I would agree to give you $200 tonight. I want Ra to help the CPP and me. Ra must apply to join the CPP,” the voice said.
SRP lawmaker and Battambang provincial senate candidate Mu Sochua said that the following day, after they had filed a complaint against Cheam Pe A with the tape and money to the provincial electoral commission, Run Thel was taped again at Mok Ra’s house attempting to convince him to drop the complaint.
“The councillor called my deputy right away; my deputy went to the house. The CPP guy [Run Thel] was so afraid that he was caught in the house of the councillor that he went under the bed hiding,” she said.
Cheam Pe A said he was too busy to comment yesterday, but senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap has previously denied the CPP has a policy of paying 1 million riel for votes.
Provincial election commission president Vorn Porn said he had summonsed both sides for questioning and attempted conciliation, but would take the case to a hearing if these efforts failed.
“If [PEC] found that he was guilty he would be tried according to the law,” Vorn Porn said.