A commune councillor for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district has claimed commune officials yesterday attempted to confiscate a video CD of an SRP senate election campaign spot he had been watching in his home.
However, officials said they had received complaints from local residents that the councillor was playing the sound from the video on a loudspeaker in the village.
SRP commune councilor in Rahat Teuk commune, 50-year-old Chan Chhean, said that two commune police officials told him yesterday morning that the commune chief and district governor ordered them to confiscate the VCD.
“I did not agree to give it to them, but they forced me to put my thumbprint [on a document] to stop playing this VCD, otherwise, they will arrest me,” he said.
Chan Chhean said that he had watched the video with his family on January 26 and again yesterday, and did not believe it was illegal.
“It is political discrimination,” he said.
However, commune police chief Chork Heak said that Chan Chhean told officials yesterday that he had only played the video on January 26. He added that villagers complained that Chan Chhean was campaigning in the village.
Commune chief Long Pon said he ordered police to Chan Chhean’s home to confiscate the VCD because it was not campaign season and he had broken the law. “He played it in public and criticised CPP leaders,” he said.
Tep Nytha, secretary-general of the National Election Committee, said that the councillor was not guilty if he had only played the election spot in his home.