Khem Veasna, founder and president of the League for Democracy Party, has been issued a formal warning by the National Election Committee (NEC) today for allegedly violating election rules by continuing to campaign on Facebook despite the ban.
“On the day on which the election campaign activity was prohibited, the League for Democracy Party was using an online system to attack the other political parties. Such an act is a complete violation of the law,” reads the statement, signed by NEC chairman Sik Bun Hok.
“The League for Democracy Party must immediately halt their propaganda . . . otherwise the NEC will take measures against it in accordance with the law,” the warning continues.
Per NEC guidelines, all parties are prohibited from campaigning both on the day of the election, and the day before.
The LDP was founded in 2005, and despite growing steadily, its base remains small compared to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and its main opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party.
Veasna’s official page, personal page and the party’s official page have continued posting statuses exalting the LDP and criticising the two major parties.
“Painful, but we know that the Vietnamese need the CPP and CNRP,” Veasna wrote on his personal Facebook page yesterday.
The LDP page also continued publishing photos yesterday of the party’s rallies from Friday.
Hang Puthea, spokesman for the NEC, said his organisation has already put a stop to the problem.
Puthea said LDP will be permitted to participate in the election as usual, but may face legal action afterwards.
“We will discuss about this after the election,” he said.
Even Prime Minister Hun Sen weighed in on the situation after casting his vote in Takhmao town.
“Not allowed to send the political message at this stage. Here is the evidence,” he said, pointing to an LDP post on his smartphone.
Veasna said he accepted the NEC warning, but protested that LDP was being treated unfairly.
“All the parties do that, even the CPP and CNRP. Why should they issue a warning only to LDP? But this is Cambodia,” he said.
“I am not doing that intentionally,” he added.
Additional reporting by Kong Meta and Rinith Taing