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Campaign trail still a bruising ride

Campaign trail still a bruising ride

Complaints of violence or intimidation, including murder, are still being made by political parties ahead of this month’s general election, said Kuol Panha, secretary general of the election monitor Comfrel, who added, however, that pre-election mayhem is down compared to the run-up to voting in 2003.

“The situation is better than in the 2003 election because the political parties now have much more understanding of election regulations and procedures and greater respect for each other,” said Panha.

The Sam Rainsy Party has reported 26 cases of irregularities in seven provinces, included threats of violence against SRP members aimed at coercing them to defect to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

National Election Commission (NEC) secretary general Tep Nytha confirmed an attempt on the life of a deputy village chief and CPP member in Kampong Cham province on July 1, as well as an attempted assassination of the Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) provincial director in Battambang.

The NEC had received a total of 52 complaints during the period of June 26 to July 3, Nytha said. “These are all minor cases that have not affected the election process,” he added.

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